Eight months after a failed attempt, Pyongyang is preparing for a new trial, is set for between 10 and 22 December
North Korea announced on Saturday it will attempt to launch a long-range rocket in mid-December, a measure challenging eight months after failing in April another experiment to develop its nuclear and missile industries, despite convictions for violating the provisions of the UN.
The launch, set between 10 and 22 December, is likely to worsen relations with Washington and Seoul just as President Barack Obama prepares to begin a second term and South Korea conducts its presidential elections on 19 December.
It will be the second launch attempt on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who came to power after the death of his father Kim Jong Il almost a year ago.
A spokesman for the North Korean Committee for Space Technology said that scientists have “analyzed the mistakes” in the failed launch in April and have improved the accuracy of the rocket and the satellite Unha Kwangmyongsong, according to the official news agency of Korea North.
The agency said the launch was a request by the late leader Kim Jong Il, who died on December 17, 2011.
The death anniversary is sure to be observed with pomp and pageantry by the North Koreans.
The space agency said the rocket carried a satellite earth observation, and insisted that the country maintains its right to develop a peaceful space program.
Washington believes the program launches in North Korean ballistic a cover of their long-range missiles aimed at the United States, and those tests are prohibited by the United Nations.
North Korea has missiles of short and medium range, but the missile launch long haul in 1998, 2006, 2009 and in April of this year was a failure.
The North Koreans apparently have not yet managed to attach a nuclear warhead to a rocket but apparently have enough plutonium to build at least half a dozen bombs, according to experts from the United States, and in 2010 announced a program to enrich uranium that could provide a second source of material for military purposes.
The negotiations of the six countries to dismantle the nuclear program of North Korea in exchange for aid and assistance in early 2009 failed.
- North Korea gears up to launch long-range rocket (news.yahoo.com)
- China concerned over North Korean launch plans (todayonline.com)
- North Korea to launch long-range rocket soon (nzherald.co.nz)
- NKorea says it will launch long-range rocket soon (metronews.ca)