N. Korea Claims Space Development
North Korea Monday denied that it was preparing to test-launch a long-range missile, claiming its recent moves are related to "space development."
A statement carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) was reminiscent of the North's comments in 1998, when it claimed a rocket it launched was really a satellite, according to Yonhap News.
The denial comes following intelligence reports from Seoul that North Korea is assembling a long-range missile at the country's eastern launch site.
"Recently the U.S. and some other countries claimed that the DPRK is making 'preparations for launching long-distance missile,'" the KCNA was quoted as saying.
"This is a vicious trick to put a brake on the wheel of not only the DPRK's building of military capability for self-defense but also scientific researches for peaceful purpose under the pretext of missile," it said.
The report also made clear North Korea will launch whatever it is that it has been preparing.
"One will come to know later what will be launched in the DPRK," it said, "Space development is the independent right of the DPRK and the requirement of the developing reality."
North Korea also denied that it was trying to grab U.S. President Barack Obama's attention with its alleged missile activity, as analysts here have speculated.