| GEO World|
| N Korea told to scrap satellite launch|
| Updated at: 1714 PST, Friday, March 13, 2009|
SEOL: North Korea says it has set a date for the launch of a satellite that US officials argue would amount to a missile test in breach of United Nations resolutions.
North Korean state media said yesterday it had notified international shipping and aviation agencies of the launch. The South Korean news agency Yonhap said North Korea had informed the International Maritime Organisation it would launch a satellite between April 4 and April 8.
The news came as the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, said her country, China and other negotiating partners were willing to discuss a range of responses, even UN action, if North Korea went ahead with the launch.
After meeting China's Foreign Minister, Yang Jiechi, she said China, South Korea, Japan and Russia were committed to dismantling North Korea's nuclear weapons-grade program and opposed its launch.
Under a six-nation agreement signed in 2007 North Korea promised to scrap its weapons-grade program in exchange for energy aid. However, not only has North Korea baulked at the terms for verifying nuclear disarmament, it insists it will undertake the launch. North Korea's neighbours suspect it is intended to test long-range missile technology.
Mrs Clinton said the other five participants in the talks had tried to dissuade North Korea. "And we are also agreed that we will discuss a response if we are not successful in convincing them not to go forward with what is a very provocative act."
Asked whether China shared the US view that a launch would violate UN resolution 1718, she said the US's partners "are willing to address, it if it does happen, with us in a variety of ways, including the Security Council."
In Washington Mrs Clinton and Mr Yang also discussed the interception of a US surveillance ship by China's navy last weekend. She said they agreed "we should work to ensure that such incidents do not happen again".