North Korea brings rocket main body to launch site: report
SEOUL - Reuters
In this March 20, 2012 file satellite image taken and provided by GeoEye, a satellite launch pad in Tongchang-ri, Cholsan County, North Pyongan Province, North Korea, is shown. The Tongchang-ri site is about 35 miles (56 kilometers) from the Chinese border city of Dandong, across the Yalu River from North Korea. AP photoNorth Korea has brought the main body of a long-range rocket to a site in the far northwest of the country in preparation for next month's launch, a report said Sunday. "South Korean and US military authorities understand that North Korea has moved the main body of a long-range missile to Tongchang-ri in preparation for launch," Yonhap news agency quoted a South Korean military official as saying.
It said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity, was confirming a report by Japan's Fuji Television that a train had taken the main body to the country's new launch site on Saturday.
The North has announced it will fire the rocket to put a satellite into orbit between April 12-16 to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of founding president Kim Il-Sung.
The United States and other nations say that the exercise is a disguised missile test, and that ballistic missile launches for any purpose are banned under UN resolutions.
The US also says the rocket launch would breach a deal struck last month under which the North would observe a partial nuclear freeze and missile test moratorium in return for food aid.
The launch is expected to dominate talks later Sunday between visiting US President Barack Obama and his South Korean counterpart Lee Myung-Bak. It will also be a key topic on the fringes of a 53-nation nuclear security summit starting Monday in Seoul.