North Korea says ready to launch rocket, prompts warnings.

Isolated and impoverished North Korea said on Tuesday it was…

Isolated and impoverished North Korea said on Tuesday it was ready to go ahead with its proposed long-range rocket launch, an announcement that sparked immediate condemnation from South Korea and Russia and a plea from China, its main ally, for calm.

The launch of the Unha-3 rocket, which North Korea says will merely put a weather satellite into space, breaches U.N. sanctions imposed to prevent Pyongyang from developing a missile that could carry a nuclear warhead.

“We consider Pyongyang’s decision to conduct a launch of a satellite an example of disregard for U.N. Security Council decisions,” state-run news agency RIA quoted Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich as saying.

Source: Maxim Duncan for Reuters.

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