April 11 - North Korean officials fuel rocket in preparation for launch. Julie Noce reports.
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All systems go... officials in North Korea seem to be moving forward with plans to launch a rocket sometime in the near future.
The rocket was being prepped with fuel Wednesday-- meaning it could blast off as early as Thursday.
Here in the control room, foreign media and aeronautical professionals from the U.S. and Russia were invited to witness the launch.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) SPACE POLICY EXPERT FROM THE RUSSIAN ACADEMY OF COSMONAUTS YURI KARASH SAYING:
"Well this one is definitely of a smaller size than the mission control center in Houston or in Korolev, but from what I can see, it is a fully operational mission control centre which may be adequately equipped to control the Korean satellite."
But the plans are garnering criticism from friends and foes alike.... In nearby Japan, a make-shift military base has been set up to deploy a ballistic missile defence system should debris from the rocket threaten Japanese territory.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said the decision to launch is proof North Korea sees the outside world as a threat.
Even China, which usually remains silent on matters with North Korea, is calling for calm and restraint.
Although North Korea maintains the launch is designed to put a weather satellite into space, it does breach U.N sanctions imposed to prevent Pyonygyang from developing missiles that could carry nuclear warheads.
Julie Noce, Reuters
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