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DPRK ready to launch satellite: official

(Xinhua)

13:09, April 12, 2012

The DPRK government invited a group of journalists to visit the General Satellite Control and Command Center, located some 20 km northwest of Pyongyang, on April 11, 2012 (Xinhua/Du Baiyu)

PYONGYANG, April 11 (Xinhua) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is ready to launch its satellite, an official said Wednesday.

On Wednesday morning, the DPRK government invited a group of journalists to visit the General Satellite Control and Command Center, located some 20 km northwest of Pyongyang.

Paek Chunghou, general director of the facility, said at a briefing that workers had put the satellite on the rocket and fuel was being injected into the rocket.

"We're sure that we will be successful," he told reporters through an interpreter.

When asked if the DPRK would launch the satellite on Thursday since the weather conditions were very good, the director said he was still awaiting the order for the exact time to launch the satellite.

The DPRK's late leader Kim Jong Il visited the control center with Kim Jong Un in 2009 before the launch of the Kwangmyongsong-2 satellite.

To show the world that the satellite has been constructed for peaceful purposes, "they will also provide the world with photos of the satellite," the director said, adding that the foreign journalists were given "this precious chance" by the DPRK's present leader Kim Jong Un to report what is really going on.

"As you have seen here, you will know this is a satellite but not a missile, which has a warhead," Paek said, adding that decades of misunderstanding and hostility by the West towards the DPRK had fueled mistrust.

He said the country's third earth observation satellite "got our dear leader Kim Jong Un's scientific guidance in detail."

"I am very excited as well as nervous for now. We are waiting for the order to launch it and will succeed," he said.

The DPRK announced last month it would launch the Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite between April 12 and 16 to mark the centenary of late DPRK founder Kim Il Sung's birth.

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