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Fri, Mar 27, 2009

Tensions Rise As North Korean Missile Moved To Pad

Talks Scheduled Friday In Washington, DC

The electronic eyes of US spy satellites are trained on a launch pad in North Korea, as the communist regime defies United Nations resolutions by positioning a Taepodong-2 missle on a launch pad on the nation's east coast.

US intelligence sources revealed earlier this month spy satellite photosshowed North Korea was preparing another test of the long-range missile. The belligerent state asserts the impending launch aims to put a communications satellite into orbit; Western diplomats say whatever it is, its launch will risk sanctions.

Reuters reports three of the six nations engaged in long-term talks on North Korea will meet in Washington, DC on Friday. The US will be represented by Sung Kim, its new negotiator on the panel. Japan's Akitaka Saiki will be there, as will Wi Sung-Lak of South Korea.

US State Department spokesman Gordon Duguid offered no agenda details, but commented, "A launch of any type of vehicle we would consider to be in violation of the UN Security Council resolutions. This provocative type of action would ... not go unnoticed."

North Korea said Thursday if the international community imposes sanctions, it will restart a nuclear plant which makes weapons grade plutonium. An inability to verify that plant was ever shut down has much to do with the current tense atmosphere.

China and Russia have chosen not to send envoys to today's meeting in Washington, but are urging caution. China encourages all parties to, "remain restrained and calm."

FMI: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/kn.html

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