Seoul warns North Korea over possible rocket launch

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A rocket launch by North Korea would be a “serious provocation,” South Korea said Tuesday, one day after Pyongyang announced plans to send a satellite into space, reports said.

South Korea’s Defence Ministry described the possible launch as “a military threat and a violation of UN resolutions,” Yonhap News Agency reported.

South Korea and the United States were watching for any possible rocket launches, it reported. There has been speculation over a long-range missile launch on October 10 to mark the anniversary of the founding of the North’s ruling Workers’ Party.

Pyongyang said Monday that it would launch an earth observation satellite at a time of its choosing.

“The world will clearly see a series of satellites of Songun Korea soaring into the sky at the times and locations determined by the WPK [Workers’ Party of Korea] Central Committee,” the North’s official KCNA news agency said.

Speculation over a rocket launch has ratcheted up tension between the two Koreas, which are still technically at war after the Korean War of 1950-53.

In late August, the two neighbours agreed to defuse tensions in emergency talks following a surge in incidents across their border, including artillery firing, a landmine explosion and propaganda broadcasts.

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