ARIRANG NEWS 12:00
Coming up today,… in what would be a serious provocation,… North Korea says it′s ready launch a long-range rocket in a matter of weeks to mark a key political anniversary.
As officials from South Korea, China and Japan meet to lay the groundwork for a trilateral summit later this fall,… Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he wants to hold one-on-one talks with President Park Geun-hye if the summit goes ahead.
Plus,… Korea′s middle class is feeling the squeeze as the lump sum deposit or Jeonsae of more than half of the apartments in Seoul now exceeds 350 million won. That′s almost 300-thousand U.S. dollars. Stay tuned for these stories and more.
Hello… it′s noon on Tuesday the fifteenth of September… you are tuned in to our midday newscast here on Arirang TV.
Thanks for joining us,… I′m Mark Broome.
Title: N. Korea hints at possible rocket launch next month
Our top story this afternoon…
North Korea has given its strongest indication yet that it will launch a rocket next month to coincide with a key anniversary.
The United States says any launch would be in clear violation of UN Security Council resolutions.
Han Da-eun starts us off. “The world will see a North Korean rocket fly high in the future… at a time and place of our choosing.”
That′s what the head of North Korea′s aerospace agency told the state-run Korean Central News Agency late Monday,… adding that the country is almost ready to launch a long-range rocket.
Saying that the regime is in the final stages of setting up its new satellite system… the chief went on to justify the plan, saying it′s for space development purposes.
North Korea′s rocket launches are widely believed to be a cover for missile tests.
Many analysts have been predicting the reclusive regime will carry out a launch in October,… to mark the 70the anniversary of the founding of its ruling Workers′ Party,… but this is the first time the North has publicly acknowledged the possibility.
The move is likely to have a negative impact on relations between the two Koreas, just as they have begun to warm up again,… and there are fears it could block a series of planned inter-Korean talks and family reunions.
In response, the South Korean government says it is keeping a close eye on North Korea′s military activities.
The U.S. says it is reluctant to jump to conclusions,… but a diplomatic source in Washington told Seoul-based Yonhap News that, based on recent satellite imagery, there are no clear signs yet of launch preparations at the North′s launch tower on its northwestern coast.
The U.S. State Department, however, made it clear that there will be consequences if Pyongyang forges ahead with the launch.
“Any satellite launch using ballistic missile technology is a clear violation of UN resolutions.”
Experts in South Korea mostly agree,… that the planned round of high-level inter-Korean talks should take place as soon as possib