North Korea says fuel being injected into rocket now

PYONGYANG, April 11 Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:43pm EDT

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PYONGYANG, April 11 (Reuters) - North Korea was injecting fuel into a long-range rocket "as we speak", the head of the North Korean satellite control centre said on Wednesday ahead of a launch condemned by its neighbours and the West.

"I think the fuel injection will be completed at an appropriate date," Paek Chang-ho, head of the satellite control centre of the Korean Committee of Space Technology, told a group of foreign journalists.

He would not comment on when the fuel injection would be complete. "And as for the exact timing of the launch, it will be decided by my superiors", Paek said.

Regional powers said the launch, due sometime between Thursday and next Monday, is a disguised test of the North's long-range missile. The North says it is merely putting a weather satellite into space. (Reporting by Maxim Duncan, Writing by Sui-Lee Wee; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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