North Korea announces plan to launch satellite

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) ? North Korea announced its intention Friday to launch a long-range rocket mounted with a satellite in honor of late President Kim Il Sung’s April birthday.

Liftoff will take place between April 12 and 16 from a station in North Phyongan province, a spokesman for the Korean Committee for Space Technology said in a statement carried by state media.

The launch will take place exactly three years after a similar launch in April 2009 drew widespread condemnation from the U.S., South Korea and others as a cover for testing North Korea’s long-range missile technology.

The move was seen as a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions prohibiting North Korea from engaging in nuclear and ballistic missile activity.

North Korea called the April 2009 launch a test of its satellite technology.