N. Korea to go ahead with rocket launch

The Washington Times Daily - - World -

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.

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