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N. Korean rocket ’provocative,’ U.S. Pacific commander says

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 11:34 a.m. HST, Apr 11, 2012

TOKYO >> The top U.S. military commander in the Pacific has called North Korea’s plans to launch a rocket a “highly provocative” move that would threaten regional security and could affect future security plans.

Adm. Samuel Locklear says the launch would be a direct violation of Pyongyang’s international obligations and U.N. Security Council resolutions.

He told reporters in Japan on Wednesday: “The event poses a threat to regional security that has to be considered as we move forward with the security of the (U.S.-Japan) alliance and the security of our relationships here in Asia.”

North Korea says it is putting a satellite into orbit, but Locklear says the real objective appears to be a ballistic missile test.

The launch is expected between Thursday and Monday.

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