North Korea threatens war over rocket

2012-04-06 11:00
Seoul - North Korea warned it would retaliate against any country that shoots down a rocket it plans to launch this month, saying it would consider it "an act of war".

Whoever "intercepts the satellite or collects its debris will meet immediate, resolute and merciless punishment", the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea warned in a statement carried by the state-run Korean Central News Agency late on Thursday.

South Korea and Japan have prepared to shoot down the rocket if it passes over their territory.

North Korea said it would launch an Earth observation satellite on board the rocket between April 12 and 16 to commemorate the centenary of the birth of its founder, Kim Il Sung, on April 15.

However, other countries - including South Korea, Japan and the US - have warned that the launch could be a cover for a ballistic missile test and would violate UN resolutions.

Pyongyang said the launch from its east coast near the Chinese border would send the rocket away from neighbouring countries. Seoul said it expected the rocket's boosters to fall into international waters.

The statement also contained a warning directed at South Korea, saying an attack by it on Pyongyang would mean the "end of everything in South Korea".

North Korea "will mete out the unimaginable and the most miserable punishment to its rival if it dares fire into the sky above [North Korea], Pyongyang in particular", the statement said.
Read more on:    north korea  |  nuclear

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