N Korea invites observers to satellite launch: KCNA

AFP, Saturday 17 Mar 2012

Pyongyang would invite foreign experts and journalists to observe satellite launch and inspect launch site following US and other countries' suspicions of a disguised missile test

South Korean war veterans hold placards and shout slogans during an anti-North Korea rally in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, March 16, 2012. (Photo: AP)

North Korea said Saturday it would invite foreign experts and journalists to observe a satellite launch which the United States and other countries see as a disguised missile test.

The Korean Committee for Space Technology "will invite experienced foreign experts on space science and technology and journalists" to visit the launch site and other places to observe the blast-off next month, the official news agency said.

The North announced Friday it would launch a long-range rocket carrying the satellite between 12-16 April to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of founding president Kim Il-Sung.

It says the programme is part of peaceful space research.

The United States and other countries say any launch would be a serious provocation and would violate UN Security Council resolution 1874, which bans the country from carrying out any ballistic missile launches for any purpose.

The news agency said it had informed the International Civil Aviation Organisation, the International Maritime Organisation, the International Telecommunication Union and other bodies about the upcoming launch.

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