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US warns against 'highly provocative' N. Korean launch

Published on Dec 1, 2012 11:17 PM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States urged North Korea on Saturday to scrap plans to launch a rocket later this month, warning the "highly provocative" move would destabilize the region.

"Devoting scarce resources to the development of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles will only further isolate and impoverish North Korea," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement.

Her comments came after Pyongyang announced it would conduct between December 10 and 22 its second long-range rocket launch this year following a much-hyped but failed attempt in April.

As in April, the North said it would be a purely "peaceful, scientific" mission aimed at placing a polar-orbiting earth observation satellite into orbit.

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