N. Korea 'Ready' to Launch Rocket

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 3, 2009 11:33 PM CDT
Missiles are carried during a massive military parade in Pyongyang, North Korea, in this file image made from television April 25, 2007.   (AP Photo/APTN, File)
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(Newser) – North Korea said preparations to launch a satellite were complete and liftoff was imminent, as US, Japanese, and South Korean warships with radar plied waters near the communist nation to monitor what they fear is a long-range missile test. Spy satellites trained high-resolution cameras on a coastal launch pad for a launch the North earlier advised would take place sometime between Saturday and Wednesday.

"Preparations for launching 'Kwangmyongsong-2,' an experimental communications satellite, by carrier rocket 'Unha-2' have been completed at the satellite launching ground in the east coastal area," the state-run media reported. "The satellite will be launched soon." North Korea is pressing ahead despite mounting international pressure to call off a launch President Barack Obama said Friday would be "provocative."