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Russia urges NKorea to reconsider rocket launch

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MOSCOW (AFP): Russia on Monday strongly urged North Korea to reconsider its plan to launch a rocket later this month, saying Moscow regretted the move.

"We vehemently ask the North Korean government to reconsider the decision to launch the rocket," the foreign ministry said, adding it had heard of the news of the plan "with regret".

North Korea announced Saturday that it would carry out its second long-range rocket launch this year between December 10 and 22.

Pyongyang insists it is a purely "peaceful, scientific" mission aimed at placing a polar-orbiting earth observation satellite in orbit.

But Russia said the launch would violate UN Security Council resolution 1874 which "unambiguously" prohibits Pyongyang from carrying out ballistic missile launches.

"North Korea, as a member of the United Nations, is obliged to obey UN Security Council decisions," the Russian statement said.

The first rocket stage now has been placed in position at the North's Sohae satellite launch station, a South Korean government source told Yonhap news agency.

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N Korea  Russia  Rocket  
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