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NATO concerned by North Korea launch plans

Dec. 6, 2012 at 10:35 AM

BRUSSELS, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- NATO's governing body called on North Korea to honor its international obligations and respect a moratorium on missile launches.

North Korea announced plans to attempt to deploy a satellite into orbit using a long-range rocket possibly as early as next week.

South Korean officials who spoke with the Yonhap news agency said the rocket has a range long enough to reach the western U.S. coast.

The North Atlantic Council, in a statement, reminded Pyongyang that a rocket launch would be in direct violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions targeting North Korea.

"We call on the North Korean authorities to meet their obligations under international law and comply fully with the will of the international community as expressed by the United Nations Security Council and the moratorium on missile launches," the statement read.

North Korea in April reneged on a moratorium on military and nuclear testing by trying to launch a long-range rocket. Similar launches in 2006 and 2009 coincided with North Korean nuclear tests. This month's launch would correspond roughly with presidential elections in South Korean.

Yonhap cites a government statement from Seoul describing the imminent launch as "direct and serious security threat."

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