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S. Korea warns N. Korea against launch

Dec. 8, 2012 at 12:14 PM

SEOUL, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- North Korea's planned rocket launch aims to show the world the country is a nuclear power but the move will "further isolate it," South Korea said Saturday.

In a statement, the Ministry of Unification in Seoul said North Korea has time to change its plans, Yonhap News Agency reported. The rocket was moved to a launch pad at Dongchang-ri a few days ago.

"The provocation by the North Korean government will, however, adversely affect the livelihood of the people, raise inter-Korean tension and further isolate it from the rest of the world," the ministry said. "North Korea should realize that its current policy of relying on atomic weapons and missiles will not work and the only way for the country to survive is if it follows a course to end its nuke program."

The North Korean government says the rocket has a peaceful purpose, launching a satellite into low-Earth orbit. But the technology involved is similar to that used for nuclear weapons, and the ministry said North Korea is likely to strengthen its claims of being a nuclear power if the launch is successful.

South Korean officials say two destroyers have been dispatched to the Yellow Sea to track the rocket.

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