U.S., South Korea Condemn North Korean Plan To Launch Satellite Next Month [The Washington Post]

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North Korea announced plans to launch a polar-orbiting Earth observation satellite next month on a long-range rocket, drawing immediate condemnation from U.S. and South Korean officials who say Pyongyang’s satellite program is cover for missile testing, The Washington Post reported March 16.

The launch, scheduled to occur between April 12 and April 16, “would pose a threat to regional security and would also be inconsistent with North Korea’s recent undertaking to refrain from long-range missile launches,” U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement.

South Korean officials called it a “grave provocative act against peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia.”

The launch could jeopardize a recent U.S. agreement to send North Korea 240,000 metric tons of food aid in exchange for a suspension of weapons tests.