North Korea Puts Rocket Into Place

Washington, South Korea watch nervously
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2012 2:44 PM CDT
North Korea Puts Rocket Into Place
A North Korean soldier stands guard in front of an Unha-3 rocket at Tangachai -ri space center on April 8, 2012.   (Getty Images)

North Korea has put a new long-range rocket into position as reports circulate that a nuclear test is underway, the BBC reports. Pyongyang insists the Unha-3 rocket will launch a harmless satellite, but South Korean leaders suspect otherwise—especially because the rocket is positioned at the Punggye-ri site, where North Korea tested nuclear bombs in 2006 and 2009. Reports of a secret tunnel being dug at Punggye-ri are only rattling nerves further.

The US and North Korea's neighbors say the launch contravenes UN resolutions, while Japan and South Korea warn they will shoot down the rocket if it flies into their territory. North Korea, which has scheduled the launch between April 12 and April 16, invited foreign journalists to give it a look (ergo our photos) and told them the satellite is only designed to beam down weather forecasts and images of North Korea's natural resources. (More North Korea stories.)

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