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North Korea to launch satellite in December

Seoul:  North Korea plans to launch a long-range rocket between December 10 and 22, the North's official news agency said on Saturday.

In a statement carried by Korean Central News Agency, the Korean Committee for Space Technology said it planned to launch a working satellite after scientists had studied mistakes made during a failed rocket launch in April.

"Scientists and technicians of the DPRK analysed the mistakes that were made during the previous April launch and deepened the work of improving the reliability and precision of the satellite and carrier rocket, thereby rounding off the preparations for launch," it said.

The rocket was intended to put a polar-orbiting earth observation satellite into orbit, it said.

In April, North Korea failed with a much-hyped launch of an Unha-3 rocket that Pyongyang also said was aimed at placing a satellite in orbit.

The United States and United Nations insisted it was a disguised ballistic missile test using a three-stage variant of the Taepodong-2 inter-continental ballistic missile.

The April test put a halt to the latest international effort to engage North Korea, with the United States calling off plans to deliver badly needed food assistance.

The United Nations Security Council on Thursday warned North Korea against carrying out another launch bid after intense speculation that it was preparing for a new missile test.

"We all agree it would be extremely inadvisable to proceed with the test," the head of the North Korea sanctions committee at the council, Portuguese ambassador Jose Filipe Moraes Cabral told reporters.
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