Date
24 March 2017
A file picture shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un attending a ceremony last month to award scientists and officials involved in a purported hydrogen bomb test. Credit: Reuters/KCNA
A file picture shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un attending a ceremony last month to award scientists and officials involved in a purported hydrogen bomb test. Credit: Reuters/KCNA

N Korea informs UN agencies about satellite launch plans

North Korea has informed two United Nations agencies that it plans to launch an observational satellite this month, Reuters reported.

“We have received information from DPRK regarding the launch of earth observation satellite ‘Kwangmyongsong’ between 8-25 February,” a spokeswoman for the International Maritime Organization was quoted as saying in an email.

The International Telecommunication Union, another UN agency, told Reuters that Pyongyang had informed it on Tuesday of plans to launch a satellite that would have a functional duration of four years.

It said the information provided by North Korea, whose official name is the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), was incomplete, and that it is seeking more details.

US officials said last week that Pyongyang could be making preparations for a test launch of a long-range rocket, after activity at a test site was observed by satellite.

News of the planned launch this month drew fresh US calls for tougher UN sanctions already under discussion in response to North Korea’s January nuclear test.

State Department spokesman John Kirby said the UN needs to “send the North Koreans a swift, firm message.”

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RA/RC

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