Despite US warning, N. Korea vows to carry out rocket launch

April 4th, 2009 - 12:29 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama Washington/Tokyo, Apr.4 (ANI): Despite a clear warning from US President Barack Obama not to go ahead with the launch of its advanced Taepodong-2 missile, North Korea has vowed to carry it out between Saturday and Wednesday.

There are signs that the launch would come soon rather than later.

A launch could occur “any minute,” two sources told FOX News, and likely not as late as Sunday.

The predictions of an early launch partly are based on the weather forecast in Pyongyang - and because the U.S. would be less ready to monitor the launch the sooner it starts.

North Korea is about a half day ahead of the United States. It’s stated time window for the launch is 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. EDT.

North Korea has said its rocket will fly over Japan and its first stage is expected to fall in waters less than 75 miles from Japan’s northwestern shore, according to coordinates the government in Pyongyang provided to U.N. agencies.

The other zone where the second stage should fall lies in the middle of the Pacific between Japan and Hawaii.

China, North Korea’s closest ally, said it was working to avert a launch. Beijing has tried to persuade North Korea on several occasions and will attempt to do so “to the last minute,” Chinese President Hu Jintao told his South Korean counterpart, Lee Myung-bak, on Friday in London.

Obama said the planned launch has put “enormous strains” on international talks over North Korea’s disputed nuclear ambitions.

The U.S. will “take appropriate steps to let North Korea know that it can’t threaten the safety and security of other countries with impunity,” he said. (ANI)

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