North Korea’s long-range rocket, scheduled to put what it says is a satellite into orbit next week, has been installed on its launch platform, foreign journalists said Sunday at the Tongchang-ri space centre.
North Korea organised the unprecedented visit to show that the Unha-3 rocket is not a disguised ballistic missile, as claimed by the United States and their allies, notably South Korea and Japan.
On April 15, 100 years will turn since the birth of North Korean Communist politician Kim Il-sung, the grandfather of the country’s current leader Kim Jong-un.
North Koreans venerate Kim Il-sung as the father of the nation, and nationwide festivities have already started in the country.
On Sunday, a presentation of a new North Korean satellite and a new carrier rocket to foreign journalists, who’ve been invited to the festivities, took place at a cosmodrome in the northwestern province of Cholsan.
The satellite’s Korean name can be translated as “The Shining Star”, and the rocket’s name – “The Milky Way”.
The 30-meter-long rocket, which consists of 3 sections, is already in the vertical position, but is not yet loaded with fuel. The satellite is still kept in a special storage place.
The head of the cosmodrome says that the satellite will be launched some day between April 12 and 16.
The satellite will be used for meteorological and communication purposes.
Russia, China and several other countries has called on North Korea to reject its space program, because it runs counter to UN Security Council’s sanctions which ban North Korea from launching ballistic missiles.