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04:54 GMT +3 hours21 December 2014
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US Criticizes N.Korean Launch Plan

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The United States condemned on Saturday North Korea's plan to launch its rocket calling it "provocative".

WASHINGTON, December 1 (RIA Novosti) - The United States condemned on Saturday North Korea's plan to launch its rocket calling it "provocative".

US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a written statement that "the launch would be a highly provocative act that threatens peace and security in the region".

The reaction followed reports from North Korea announcing that next "satellite" launch has been already scheduled to be made between December 10 and 22.

"Any North Korean launch using ballistic missile technology is in direct violation of U.N. Security Council Resolutions," Nuland said. "Devoting scarce resources to the development of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles will only further isolate and impoverish North Korea," she added.

North Korea says that it plans to use rockets to launch satellites into orbit only for peaceful purposes. But its ambitions have drawn criticism from the West and neighboring South Korea, which see those tests as aimed at developing an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

The Korean conflict, that ran from 1950 and 1953, ended with a truce, but the situation has remained close to a state of war.