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Missile test tug-of-war in North Korea


North Korea has made advances towards defusing tension in the region, agreeing to allow the return of UN nuclear inspectors. But Pyongyang’s plan to launch a space satellite has put itself and the whole new deal in peril.

­The formal invitation came three years after North Korea blocked the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from visiting its nuclear sites, the agency confirmed Tuesday. The move was part of a nuclear moratorium deal reached in exchange for food aid and further negotiations announced last month.

The agreement however is undermined by Korea’s intention to launch a space satellite in mid-April, a move which would violate a ban on rocket tests imposed by the UN Security Council.

In a 2009 resolution, the UNSC has forbidden North Korea from developing ballistic missile technology. At the time, Pyongyang defied the sanctions by carrying out short-range missile test less than a month after its adoption.

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