7 December 2012
MOSCOW, December 7 (RIA Novosti) - North Korea began pumping fuel at the missile launch site to fill the rocket’s tanks as it prepares to launch a satellite this month despite objections from the West, Yonhap news agency reported.
“As soon as [the North] completes injecting fuel into the storage, it is expected to supply the rocket with fuel. Fuel injection could begin Saturday,” the agency said citing its source.
The fuel storage tank at the site is situated some 80 meters (over 260 feet) away from the 50-meter-high (164 feet) rocket launch pad.
The launch will be North Korea’s second this year. A previous launch in April failed when the rocket, carrying a Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite, crashed into the Yellow Sea minutes after liftoff.
Earlier in the week, Pyongyang notified the International Maritime Organization, a UN shipping agency, about the launch on Monday. According to the preliminary coordinates, the rocket's first stage would fall into the Yellow Sea between the Korean Peninsula and China, and the second stage separation would take place 136 kilometers east off the
North Korea maintains it wants to put satellites into orbit for peaceful purposes, while the international community suspects the launches could be a cover for development of an intercontinental ballistic missile program.