North Korea plans to launch a satellite into orbit later this month, the rogue state announced today.
"In the announcement attributed to a spokesman for the Korean Committee for Space Technology, North Korea said the rocket would carry a 'polar-orbiting earth observation satellite' for 'peaceful scientific and technological' purposes," reports the Los Angeles Times.
In a statement released today, the State Department says the launch "would be a highly provocative act that threatens peace and security in the region."
"A North Korean 'satellite' launch would be a highly provocative act that threatens peace and security in the region," the State Department's statement reads. "Any North Korean launch using ballistic missile technology is in direct violation of UN Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs) 1718 and 1874."
The UN Security Council Presidential Statement adopted unanimously on April 16, 2012 strongly condemned North Korea's April 13 launch and expressed its determination to take action accordingly in the event of a further launch. We call on North Korea to comply fully with its obligations under all relevant UNSCRs.
Devoting scarce resources to the development of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles will only further isolate and impoverish North Korea. The path to security for North Korea lies in investing in its people and abiding by its commitments and international obligations.
The United States is consulting closely with its Six-Party and other key allies and partners on next steps.