North Korea rocket launch concerning: McCully

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully says he is seriously concerned by reports that North Korea plans to launch a satellite this month using a long-range ballistic missile.

"This latest announcement from North Korea is extremely disappointing and potentially destabilising. New Zealand considers the use of ballistic missile technology to conduct the proposed launch to be inconsistent with UN Security Council resolutions," Mr McCully said today.

"The Government strongly urges North Korea to abandon its launch plan, work constructively with its neighbours and the international community, and stop its nuclear weapons programme.".

North Korea announced yesterday that it would attempt to launch a long-range rocket, with the launch date set for between December 10 and 22, the Associated Press reported.

It would be North Korea's second launch attempt under leader Kim Jong Un.

The announcement by North Korea's space agency followed speculation overseas about stepped-up activity at North Korea's west coast launch pad captured in satellite imagery.

- APNZ

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