Foreign observers for North Korean satellite launch

North Korea would invite international observers to monitor launching of its Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite.

Pyongyang: North Korea would invite international observers to monitor launching of its indigenously-built earth observation satellite -- Kwangmyongsong-3, the state news agency KCNA has reported.

The Korean Committee for Space Technology (KCST) would "invite experienced foreign experts on space science and technology and journalists to visit the Sohae Satellite Launching Station, the General Satellite Control and Command Centre and other places to observe its launch," Xinhua reported.

According to the KCNA report, North Korea has informed the International Civil Aviation Organisation, the International Maritime Organisation, the International Telecommunication Union and others in line with international procedures.

On Friday, North Korea announced that it will launch the satellite next month to mark the 100th birthday of its late founding leader Kim Il-sung.

The Unha-3 rocket carrying the Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite will lift off from a launch pad in Cholsan, a coastal town in the country`s northwest, between April 12 and 16, said the Korean Committee for Space Technology`s spokesperson in a statement.

However, the satellite launching plans have invited US criticism.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton termed it as "highly provocative" plans by North Korea.

"North Korea`s announcement that it plans to conduct a missile launch in direct violation of its international obligations is highly provocative. UN Security Council Resolutions 1718 and 1874 clearly and unequivocally prohibit North Korea from conducting launches that use ballistic missile technology," she said.