N. Korea renews its commitment to go ahead with rocket launch
North Korea on Friday reiterated its commitment to launch a long-range rocket next month in the latest public rejection of international pressure.
The North has claimed that the launch set between April 12 and 16 is designed to put an earth observation satellite into orbit.
South Korea, the United States and other regional powers suspect the rocket launch could be a disguised test of the North's ballistic missile technology, which is banned under a 2009 U.N. resolution.
China has also joined the international call for the North to call off the planned rocket launch, while Russia has strongly denounced the launch.
The North's two traditional allies and veto-holding permanent members of the U.N. Security Council have said the North should instead take care of its people.
However, North Korea has spurned the spate of international warnings and pressure.
The satellite represents the "dignity and pride" of North Korea and "a symbol of a new era and peace and prosperity," the North's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea said in a comment carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.
The North will not budge over the launch and keep moving on under its determination, the committee said.
The launch is timed to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of late President Kim Il-sung, the country's founder and grandfather of current leader Kim Jong-un, which falls on April 15.
The impoverished country has vowed to usher in a prosperous and powerful nation by the milestone anniversary.
In Washington, a senior Pentagon official said Thursday that the Obama administration will overhaul its approach toward North Korea if it presses ahead with the rocket launch.