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Russia warns against North Korea's satellite launch

3/27/2009 12:56 PM ET

Russia warned North Korea against launching a rocket, saying that it will only help increase tensions in northeast Asia.

"We understand that the situation in the region is currently very tense. It would therefore be better if our North Korean partners were to refrain from the launch," Russia's deputy foreign minister Alexei Borodavkin told reporters on Friday.

Earlier this month, North Korean government announced plans to launch what it calls a communications satellite between April 4 and 8 with an aerial route taking it over northern Japan.

The United States and its allies, Japan and South Korea, as well as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed concern over a possible long-range missile test under the pretext of a satellite-launch.

Borodavkin called on concerned countries to "calmly deal with all the issues surrounding the launch through dialogue and consultations."

Meanwhile, Anatoly Tsyganok, head of the Center for Military Forecasts at the Institute of Political and Military Studies, said Russia's early warning system monitoring the eastern sector will be put on high alert ahead of the Korean satellite launch.

by RTT Staff Writer

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