N. Korea to go ahead with rocket launch
PYONGYANG | North Korea vowed Sunday to go ahead with plans to launch a long-range rocket, rejecting criticism in the West that it would scuttle recent diplomacy.
North Korea said Friday that it would fire an observation satellite into space on a new rocket as part of celebrations next month of the 100th anniversary of late President Kim Ilsung’s birth.
The announcement came about two weeks after the North agreed to suspend long-range missile tests and make nuclear concessions in exchange for much-needed food aid from the United States. The agreement was seen as a promising step toward improved relations between the two wartime enemies.
The U.S., Japan, Britain and others have urged North Korea to cancel the planned launch, calling it a threat to diplomatic efforts and warning that it would violate a U.N. ban on nuclear and missile activity because the same rocket technology can be used for long-range missiles.
The Iranian currency has lost much of its value because of Western sanctions to halt Iran’s nuclear development program.
Iran has a burgeoning black market in currencies because of the wide gap between the official and street exchange rates.
It was not clear whether the central bank would continue adjusting its market rate to reflect the unofficial street price.