Pyongyang, North Korea: North Korea will launch Kwangmyongsong-3, an earth observation satellite, in April 2012 (between April 12-16), the country’s official news agency KCNA announced. The satellite will be blasted off southward from the Sohae Satellite Launching Station in the western province of North Pyongyang, according to the report.
The report observed, “The upcoming launch will greatly encourage the army and people of the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) in the building of a thriving nation and will offer an important occasion of putting the country’s technology of space use for peaceful purposes on a higher stage.”
The agency further mentioned that the planned launch will mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of the country’s founder, Kim II Sung. The late Kim, born on April 15, 1912, was revered as a godlike figure in the North.
However, the US dubbed North Korea’s announcement of satellite launch as “highly provocative,” saying North Korea is violating its international obligations. Previous satellite launches by the North Korean regime have been widely viewed as ballistic missile test launches in disguise.
Japan has even urged Pyongyang to abandon the launch, calling it a violation of a UN resolution restricting the North’s use of ballistic missile technology.
Source: The New York Times