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North Korea sets April time frame for satellite launch

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North Korea has set a definite time frame in which it plans to launch a missile from which it says it plans to put a satellite into orbit.

That word came from South Korea’s Ministry of Land, Transport, and Maritime Affairs, reporting that North Korea had notified the International Civil Aviation Organization and the International Maritime Organization that the missile will roar off the site near the northeastern coast sometime between April 4 and April 8.

North Korea sent the confirmation apparently as a warning to aircraft and shipping vessels to stay out of the area of the launch. The missile, a long-range Taepodong-2, is expected to fly above the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan, before sending the satellite into orbit.

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and other senior US officials have called on North Korea to cancel plans for the launch, which is seen as a test of a missile that is capable of delivering a nuclear warhead at least as far as Alaska and Hawaii and possibly the West Coast. (For coverage of her recent visit to South Korea, click here.) Special Envoy Stephen Bosworth, visiting China, South Korea, and Japan, called for resumption of six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear program while also decrying preparations for the missile launch.

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