North Korea notifies UN agency of planned satellite launch

North Korea had been believed to be making preparations for a test launch of a long-range rocket, US officials have said.

Reuters| Updated: Feb 02, 2016, 22:57 PM IST
North Korea notifies UN agency of planned satellite launch
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Seoul: North Korea has notified the International Maritime Organization of plans to launch a satellite between Feb 8 and Feb 25, the United Nations agency told Reuters late on Tuesday.

North Korea had been believed to be making preparations for a test launch of a long-range rocket, US officials have said, after activity at its test site was observed by satellite.

"We have received information from DPRK regarding the launch of earth observation satellite `Kwangmyongsong` between 8-25 February," a spokeswoman with the IMO told Reuters by email.

North Korea`s official name is the Democratic People`s Republic of Korea.

North Korea, which conducted its fourth nuclear test on Jan 6 in defiance of UN sanctions, last conducted a long-range rocket launch in December 2012, sending an object it described as a communications satellite into orbit.

Western and Asian experts have said that launch was part of an effort to build an intercontinental ballistic missile.

North Korea has said it has a sovereign right to pursue a space programme by launching rockets.

North Korea is under UN sanctions for its nuclear and missile programmes, and countries including the United States and South Korea are seeking fresh sanctions after its latest nuclear test.