Wednesday, February 21, 2024

N. Korea to launch satellite

North Korea said on Tuesday it is preparing to launch a satellite that would mark “a great step forward” for the communist state, after weeks of reports it is poised to test a long-range missile.
In a statement on official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the national space committee said that “full-scale preparations are under way to launch a rocket Unha-2 to put communication satellite Kwangmyongsong-2 into orbit.”
The committee did not say when the launch would be made.
Pyongyang has previously tested missiles under the guise of launching a satellite and analysts have said recent comments from the North indicated it was on the verge of another attention-grabbing test.
The committee said the North had successfully launched its first satellite in August 1998 and that a second launch would be another milestone.
“When this satellite is successfully launched, our space technology will make a great step forward toward becoming an economically strong country,” it said.
The North is under mounting international pressure to scrap apparent plans to launch its longest-range Taepodong-2 missile, which in theory could target Alaska.
Local media in South Korea has reported that the North has moved equipment for a launch to the Musudan-ri base on its northeast coast.

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