Clinton: DPRK missile plan 'provocative'

March 16, 2012 at 11:59 AM
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WASHINGTON, March 16 (UPI) -- An announcement from the North Korean government that it plans to launch a satellite into orbit is "highly provocative," the U.S. secretary of state said.

North Korea announced plans to deploy an Earth observation satellite using a long-range missile next month in a mission set to coincide with what would be the 100th birthday of former leader Kim Il Sung, grandfather of current leader Kim Jong Un.

Through the official Korean Central News Agency, the government said it would "strictly abide" by international regulations.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in a statement, said the move would be in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions that prohibit North Korea from conducting launches that use ballistic missile technology.

"North Korea's announcement that it plans to conduct a missile launch in direct violation of its international obligations is highly provocative," she said.

North Korea announced this month that it placed a moratorium on long-range missile launches, nuclear tests and other nuclear-related material in exchange for food assistance from the United States.

The South Korean government said it was anticipating talks with U.N. inspectors and North Korean officials.

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