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North Korea Rocket

April 9, 2012 by staff 

North Korea Rocket, North Korean space officials took the rare step Sunday of allowing foreign journalists to see a rocket, that, despite the objections of the United States and South Korea, is being prepared for launch this week.

The rocket viewing came as South Korean intelligence photos, obtained by VOA, showed what appear to be preparations for a third North Korean nuclear test.

Reporters said all three stages of the Unha-3 rocket were on the launch pad at the new Tongchang-ri space facility in North Phyongan province on the west coast. The reporters were also shown a command center where white-coated technicians labored over computer terminals.

Pyongyang maintains that the rocket, to be launched between April 12 and 16, will carry only a weather satellite, but the U.S. and South Korea say the event is a test of a ballistic missile.

Jang Myong Jin, general manager of the launch site, told reporters that under the Space Treaty, every country has the right to develop space technology for peaceful purposes.

“The United States-sponsored United Nations Security Council resolution did talk about the technology of ballistic missile launches,” he said. “However, there is a more important treaty than this resolution and that is the Space Treaty. The Space Treaty clearly states that every country has the right to develop space technology and explore space for peaceful purposes.”

But South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said at a news conference in Seoul that his government sees the launch as a provocation.

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