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N. Korea vows to launch more long-range rockets

All Headlines 12:07 February 07, 2017

SEOUL, Feb. 7 (Yonhap) -- North Korea vowed Tuesday to further launch what it claims to be satellites into space as it marked the first anniversary of firing off a long-range rocket in defiance of international condemnation.

The successful launch of North Korea's satellite, named "Kwangmyongsong-4," in 2016 confirmed the country as a space program powerhouse, according to the Rodong Sinmun, the North's main newspaper.

The placing of the satellite into orbit was viewed by outside experts as Pyongyang's effort to test its long-range ballistic missile technology. In December 2012, Pyongyang also fired-off a long-range rocket.

"We will launch more satellites at the time and in the place decided by the Workers' Party of Korea," the newspaper said.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said in his New Year's address that the country has entered the final stage of test-firing an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

South Korea's Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn, who serves as acting president, warned Tuesday that North Korea could make strategic provocations ahead of the 75th birthday of late North Korean former leader Kim Jong-il slated for Feb. 16.

"The government believes that North Korea will (make provocations) if the North's leader gives the order," said an official at Seoul's unification ministry. "But there is no clear signs of (military provocations) yet."

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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