TOKYO, March 29 (Itar-Tass) — North Korea has begun fuelling the Unha-3 rocket with liquid fuel that will launch an artificial Earth satellite named Kwangmyongsong-3 (Shining Star-3). The rocket will be blasted off in the DPRK in April to mark the birth centenary of the country’s founder Kim Il Sung.
“The launch date is approaching. There is a probability that the rocket launch will be carried out on April 12 or 13,” the Tokyo Shimbun newspaper reported on Thursday.
According to the publication sources, the rocket carrier is already installed on the launch site of the cosmodrome in Cholsan County, North Phyongan Province on the coast of the Yellow Sea (East China Sea), where an active preparation for its launch is underway. The North Korean authorities have invited foreign experts and journalists to be present at the launch. The Unha-3 rocket will be demonstrated to them at the launch site. They will also have an opportunity to observe the preparations for the launch at the Mission Control Centre. They are also invited to visit the Satellite Control Centre in Pyongyang, from where it will also be possible to watch the rocket launch.
The DPRK claims that the Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite will be used in the system of natural resource monitoring and forecasting of various natural disasters. According to a representative of the North Korean Committee for Space Technology, the satellite will also transmit data needed for making weather forecasts, which is necessary for the development of agriculture and other economic purposes. The spacecraft weighing 100 kilograms is planned to be placed on a sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 500 kilometres, where it will operate for about 2 years.