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.
The United States and some other countries condemned the step, saying that the launching would violate United Nations Security Council resolutions demanding to North Korea to not launch rockets that use long-range intercontinental ballistic missile technology, like the one that would carry the satellite to space. The United States and the Security Council see such satellite launchings in the past as a cover for developing the missiles, which could eventually be used to deliver nuclear weapons.
This came only 17 days after North Korea agreed with the United States that it would suspend uranium enrichment, allow United Nations inspectors into the country and place a moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile tests in return for 240,000 tons of food aid over the next year. In Washington, the State Department said that agreement explicitly forbade missile tests or satellite launchings, among other military actions.
- North Korea Says It Will Launch Satellite Into Orbit (prosumerzen.net)
- North Korea Says It Will Launch Satellite Into Orbit – NYTimes.com (policyabcs.wordpress.com)
- North Korea Says It Will Launch Satellite Into Orbit – New York Times (nytimes.com)
- North Korea To Launch Satellite (lezgetreal.com)
- North Korea to Launch Satellite for Kim’s Birthday (spacefellowship.com)