NKorea brings rocket launch dates forward

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North-Korea20160207SEOUL: North Korea’s planned launch of a long-range rocket could happen within a matter of hours, after Pyongyang shortened and brought forward the start of the launch window to Sunday.

An updated notification sent by Pyongyang to UN agencies on Saturday—a copy of which was released by the South Korean government—said the launch would now take place between February 7-14.

The initial window announced by the North on Tuesday had been February 8-25.

The planned launch has been condemned by the international community as a disguised ballistic missile test that amounts to another serious violation of UN resolution, following the North’s nuclear test last month.

The updated notice sent by Pyongyang offered no reason for the date change which means the launch would now take place before the February 16 birthday of late leader Kim Jong-Il, the father of current leader Kim Jong-Un.


The North insists its space program is purely scientific in nature, but the United States and allies, including South Korea, say its rocket launches are aimed at developing an inter-continental ballistic missile capable of striking the US mainland.

UN sanctions prohibit North Korea from any launch using ballistic missile technology.

AFP

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