North Korea rejects rocket launch criticism

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North Korea rejects rocket launch criticism

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North Korea insisted on Thursday that a planned long-range rocket launch does not flout a food aid deal struck with the United States.

In February, Washington agreed to provide 240,000 tons of food aid if the North vowed to hold off on weapons tests

State media said the country should not be punished if it goes ahead with the blast.

The Korean Central News Agency only repeats the official viewpoint of the government.

A five-day window for the test has just opened but an immediate launch is unlikely due to bad weather.

North Korea announced last month it would launch the rocket to mark the centenary of its founder, the late Kim Il Sung.

The move was immediately denounced by the US, South Korea and Japan.

Both Seoul and Toyko have threatened to shoot the rocket down if it passes through their airspace.