2 Dec 2012

Rocket launch announcement by North Korea

10:20 am on 2 December 2012

North Korea says it intends will launch a long-range rocket between 10 - 22 December.

The KCNA agency said on Saturday the aim was to launch a satellite.

The announcement is likely to increase tensions with South Korea and draw censure from the United States and Japan.

North Korea says its launches are for peaceful purposes.

However, Washington and South Korea believe the North is testing long-range missile technology with the aim of developing an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

North Korea undertook a similar launch in April that was a failure. The launch was aborted a few minutes into its mission.

KCNA reported that the Korean Committee for Space Technology said scientists and technicians had now "analysed the mistakes" of the April launch.

The BBC reports the test will be the second to take place under the leadership of Kim Jong-un.

A presidential election is scheduled for 19 December in South Korea.