Engineers are pumping fuel into a rocket that is set to carry a satellite into space, according to officials at the North Korean space agency’s central command centre…Paek Chang Ho, chief of the launch command centre, told reporters…the rocket was ready for liftoff as early as Thursday, the start of a five-day window set for the controversial launch timed to coincide with mid-April celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of North Korea founder Kim Il Sung.
North Korea’s decision to launch the Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite has triggered a series of criticisms and precautionary plans from surrounding Asian countries, as well as the United States. Hilary Clinton stated that the US will take “appropriate actions” should the launch turn into a threat. The Japanese military has set up several antimissile weapons in open fields, and no-fly/no-sail zones were placed into effect in Philippines in case debris from the launch endanger any citizens. Even China, North Korea’s usual ally, was unsettled and threatened to stop food aid for the impoverished country.
Nevertheless, North Korea seems determined. In an interview, Paek Chang Ho stated that North Korea “does not care about the opinions of foreign countries,” and that they are “going all the way” for the nation’s own interest and development. Only time can tell what will happen to North Korea and its various international ties.