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North Korea recently announced its intention to launch a long range missile in December. This follows a failed attempt in April 2102. The North Korea State news agency revealed the country’s plans to send another satellite in orbit which might take place between December 10 and December 22, between 11:00 am to 5:00 pm EST.
According to the BBC‘s Lucy Williams in Seoul, “North Korea’s state media have described the rocket launch as being for peaceful purposes, with the aim of putting a polar-orbiting earth observation satellite into space.”
According to the New Scientist in April, North Korea’s endeavor to cast-off a rocket “failed just within a minute after a 30 metre-long Unha-3 booster blasted off from the sohae satellite launching station at 7:39 am local time on 13 April,” said the official Korean Central News Agency.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command in Colorado said that “the craft didn’t get anywhere near the orbit.”
After almost seven months of research and analysis over the real cause of April failure, North Korean scientists seem to have identified their mistakes and now they are again ready to launch a rocket into space. North Korea has named the missile Kwangmyongsong-3.
North Korea cautioned the UN shipping agency and international Maritime Organisation about its intentions to launch a rocket into orbit, and released a trajectory of its missile. The first stage of the rocket is expected to dash-off in a western part of the Korean Peninsula and the second stage might drop-off close to the Philippine coast.
China seems to be concerned with the launch and said that all sides should restrain themselves from acts of aggravating tensions in the region.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said in a brief statement, “We hope all relevant parties will do that which benefits peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, hope all sides will respond calmly and avoid exacerbating the situation.”
Russia, on the other hand, raised vocals of disappointment over North Korea’s decision to move forward with the missile launch. The Russian Foreign Ministry said “We urgently appeal to the government (of North Korea) to reconsider the decision to launch a rocket.”
Russia, at the time of the April launch, with a downcast voice had said “North Korea had been warned not to ignore a UN Security Council resolution which ‘unambiguously prohibits from launching rockets using ballistic technology.’”
United States also joined the league criticizing North Korean missile launch plans and said that the act would be “highly provocative” and would threaten peace and stability in the region.
The sensitivity of the decision to launch the missile by North Korea can be sensed by the fact that Japan has started deploying a surface-to-air missile system in its southern island.