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North Korea Says It Will Launch Rocket 'Soon'


North Korea says it has completed preparations to send a satellite into orbit and will launch the rocket soon.

The country's neighbors and the United States believe Pyongyang is actually planning to use the launch as a test of a long-range ballistic missile.

They are closely monitoring North Korea's movements, in case the launch takes place.

If fired, the rocket likely will sail over Japanese territory. Tokyo has deployed land-to-air missile interceptors in case any debris fall over the country.

North Korea's military has warned it will attack the interceptors and key Japanese facilities if Tokyo tries to take the rocket down.

The U.S., South Korea and Japan have urged North Korea not to go ahead with its plans, warning that Pyongyang will face consequences.

U.S. envoy Stephen Bosworth said Friday that a missile launch would be a provocation, and a violation of the U.N. Security Council resolution approved after North Korea's 2006 nuclear test.

He said the action would require some consequences, but that later, he hoped international talks on ending North Korea's nuclear program would continue. Bosworth is the U.S. representative to those six-party talks.

North Korea has threatened to quit the negotiations if the U.N. imposes new sanctions after a rocket launch.

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