Thursday, March 12, 2009
North Korea has scheduled a satellite launch for early next month, South Korean officials said Thursday, as Washington and Seoul told Pyongyang to scrap what they see as a disguised missile test.
Pyongyang informed the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) that it will fire a rocket to launch the satellite between April 4-8, an official at Seoul’s maritime affairs ministry said.
Citing information from the IMO, the official said the North had told the UN regulatory agency of two risk areas, one in the Pacific Ocean and the other in the Sea of Japan (East Sea).
“The IMO is currently working on an official safety notice, which it will soon hand out to its member countries,” the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
Earlier Thursday the North said it had provided “necessary information for the safe navigation of planes and ships” as part of preparations for launching “an experimental communications satellite.”
South Korean and US officials believe the real intention is to test a Taepodong-2 missile which could theoretically reach Alaska.