S. Korea warns rocket launch by North would be ‘serious’ provocation

Pyongyang in ‘final phase’ of developing new geo-stationary satellite to be put in space next month



South Korea warned Tuesday that any satellite rocket launch by North Korea would be considered a ballistic missile test, and a “serious” provocation that would violate UN resolutions.



“Any launch of a ballistic missile by North Korea is a serious act of provocation,” Defence Ministry spokesman Kim Min-Seok said, a day after Pyongyang hinted it might carry out a rocket launch to mark a key political anniversary next month.



Such a move would invite fresh international sanctions on the isolated North and jeopardize a reunion being organized with South Korea of families divided by the 1950-53 Korean War.



The North insists its rocket launches are intended to put peaceful satellites into orbit, while the United States and its allies see them as disguised ballistic missile tests.



“It is a military threat and a clear violation of the UN resolutions banning any activities using ballistic missile technology,” Kim told reporters.



There has been widespread speculation that the North might launch a satellite to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) on October 10.



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