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Yonhap: DPRK likely to fire a rocket from April 4-8

THE Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) told an international organization that it would launch a rocket between April 4-8, Yonhap News Agency quoted an intelligence source as saying today.

"North Korea informed the International Maritime Organization of its plan to fire the Kwangmyongson-2 between April 4-8," Yonhap said, quoting the source.

The DPRK declared on Feb. 24 that it was going to launch a communications satellite as part of a peaceful space program. The satellite will be fired by the "Galaxy 2" space launch vehicle in the East Sea Space Launching Base located in Hwadae County, the North Hamgyong province.

The DPRK said it is entitled to develop its own space program and other countries like the United States have no rights to interfere.

The US and South Korean media suspected the DPRK was going to test-fire a ballistic missile "Taepodong-2," with a maximum estimated range of 6,700 km that could hit American territory.

South Korea, Japan and the United States have warned Pyongyang not to fire a missile. US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has urged the DPRK to stop its "provocative actions," saying a missile test would "be very unhelpful."

The DPRK said it put an experimental satellite "Kwangmyongsong-1" into orbit in August 1998. But the US believed that it was only a "Taepodong-1" missile test-launch.


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