South Korea says North will pay a 'severe price' for missile launch

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North Korea's Neighbours Concerned About 'Satellite' Launch

South Korea said on Wednesday North Korea's announced plan to launch a satellite is really a plan to launch a long-range missile and warned that the North will pay a "severe price" if it goes ahead.

North Korea should immediately call off the planned launch, which is a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions, the South's presidential Blue House said in a statement.

SEE ALSO: The White House just gave North Korea another stern warning about its space launch

Seoul's warning came after the North notified U.N. agencies late on Tuesday of its plan to launch what it called an "earth observation satellite" some time between Feb. 8 and 25.

"North Korea's notice of the plan to launch a long-range missile, coming at a time when there is a discussion for Security Council sanctions on its fourth nuclear test, is a direct challenge to the international community," the Blue House said.

"We strongly warn that the North will pay a severe price ... if it goes ahead with the long-range missile launch plan," it said.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he would work with the United States and others to "strongly demand" that North Korea refrain from what he described as a planned missile launch.

Reports of the planned launch drew fresh U.S. calls for tougher U.N. sanctions that are already under discussion in response to most recent North Korea's nuclear test.

State Department spokesman John Kirby said the United Nations needed to "send the North Koreans a swift, firm message".

See more on the ongoing tension between North Korea and South Korea:

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South Korea says North will pay a 'severe price' for missile launch
South Korean protesters with defaced portraits of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and North Korean flags shout slogans during an anti-North Korean rally in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Aug. 21, 2015. The North leader on Friday declared his frontline troops in a "quasi-state of war" and ordered them to prepare for battle a day after the most serious confrontation between the rivals in years. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
A South Korean army soldier patrols at Unification Bridge near the border village of Panmunom in Paju, South Korea, Friday, Aug. 21, 2015. South Korea fired dozens of shells Thursday at rival North Korea after the North lobbed several rounds across the world's most heavily armed border and threatened to take further action unless Seoul ends its loudspeaker broadcasts. The North denied it fired any shots and warned of retaliation for what it called a serious provocation. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
People watch a television news program reporting about South Korea's respond to the North with a file video footage at Seoul train station in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015. South Korea's military fired dozens of shells Thursday at rival North Korea after the North lobbed a single artillery round at a South Korean border town, the South's Defense ministry said. The letters read "South Korean military, respond 155mm shells to the North." (Kim Do-hun/Yonhap via AP)
South Korean army soldiers stand guard at Unification Bridge near the border village of Panmunom in Paju, South Korea, Friday, Aug. 21, 2015. South Korea fired dozens of shells Thursday at rival North Korea after the North lobbed several rounds across the world's most heavily armed border and threatened to take further action unless Seoul ends its loudspeaker broadcasts. The North denied it fired any shots and warned of retaliation for what it called a serious provocation. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
South Korean protesters with defaced portraits of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shout slogans during an anti-North Korean rally in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Aug. 21, 2015. The North leader on Friday declared his frontline troops in a "quasi-state of war" and ordered them to prepare for battle a day after the most serious confrontation between the rivals in years. The letters at right read: "Explode the statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il !" (AP Photo/Julie Yoon)
A South Korean protester burns a portrait of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during an anti-North Korean rally in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Aug. 21, 2015. The North leader on Friday declared his frontline troops in a "quasi-state of war" and ordered them to prepare for battle a day after the most serious confrontation between the rivals in years. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
People watch a propaganda movie showing soldiers line up in front of their tanks shown on a large screen in Pyongyang, North Korea, Friday, Aug. 21, 2015. North Korea on Friday declared its frontline troops in a "a quasi-state of war" after the north and south accusing each other of firing at each other across the world's most heavily armed border. The Korean on the screen reads: "The man who offends the dignity of Korea." (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)
South Korean army soldiers walk on the way to returning to their base after a patrol, in Paju, south of the demilitarized zone that divides the two Koreas, South Korea, Friday, Aug. 21, 2015. South Korea fired dozens of shells Thursday at rival North Korea after the North lobbed several rounds across the world's most heavily armed border and threatened to take further action unless Seoul ends its loudspeaker broadcasts. The North denied it fired any shots and warned of retaliation for what it called a serious provocation. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
South Korean protesters burn an effigy of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and a North Korean flag during an anti-North Korean rally in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Aug. 21, 2015. The North leader on Friday declared his frontline troops in a "quasi-state of war" and ordered them to prepare for battle a day after the most serious confrontation between the rivals in years. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
South Korean anti-war protesters stage a rally demanding peace and reunification of the Korean peninsula near the presidential house in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Aug. 21, 2015. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Friday declared his frontline troops in a "quasi-state of war" and ordered them to prepare for battle a day after the most serious confrontation between the rivals in years. (AP Photo/Julie Yoon)
A portrait of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is burnt by South Korean protesters during an anti-North Korean rally in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Aug. 21, 2015. The North leader on Friday declared his frontline troops in a "quasi-state of war" and ordered them to prepare for battle a day after the most serious confrontation between the rivals in years. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
A man locks a shutter of his shop after an evacuation order is issued to the residents and visitors at the Imjingak Pavilion near the border village of Panmunjom, which has separated the two Koreas since the Korean War, in Paju, north of Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015. South Korea's military fired dozens of shells Thursday at rival North Korea after the North lobbed a single artillery round at a South Korean border town, the South's Defense ministry said. (Kim Seung-doo/Yonhap via AP)
A South Korean soldier uses a radio on a military vehicle at the South Korean border town of Yeoncheon, South Korea, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015. South Korea's military fired dozens of shells Thursday at rival North Korea after the North lobbed a single artillery round at the border town, the South's Defense ministry said. (Hong Hae-in/Yonhap via AP) 
Residents carry emergency goods to a shelter at the South Korean border town of Yeoncheon Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015. South Korea's military fired dozens of shells Thursday at rival North Korea after the North lobbed a single artillery round at Yeoncheon, the South's Defense ministry said. About 80 residents in the town where the shell fell were evacuated to underground bunkers, and authorities urged other residents to evacuate, a Yeoncheon official said. (Hong Hae-in/Yonhap via AP)
Residents gather at a shelter in Yeoncheon, the South Korean town where the shell fell in South Korea Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015. South Korea's military fired dozens of shells Thursday at rival North Korea after the North lobbed a single artillery round at the South Korean border town, the South's Defense ministry said. (Hong Hae-in/Yonhap via AP) 
South Korean government officials deliver emergency food as residents gather at a shelter in the South Korean town of Yeoncheon where the shell fell Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015. South Korea's military fired dozens of shells Thursday at rival North Korea after the North lobbed a single artillery round at the border town, the South's Defense ministry said. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
South Korean residents gather at a shelter in the South Korean town of Yeoncheon where the shell fell Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015. South Korea's military fired dozens of shells Thursday at rival North Korea after the North lobbed a single artillery round at the border town, the South's Defense ministry said. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
Members of the Korean Disabled Veterans Association by Agent Orange in Vietnam War, shout slogans as they hold up defaced North Korean flags and images of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a rally denouncing North Korea in front of the Unification Bridge near the border village of Panmunjom in Paju, north of Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015. South Korea restarted propaganda broadcasts across the border with rival North Korea on Monday for the first time in 11 years in retaliation for the North allegedly planting land mines last week that maimed two South Korean soldiers. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
Members of the Korean Disabled Veterans Association by Agent Orange in Vietnam War, shout slogans with a banner showing defaced images of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, right, late his father Kim Jong Il, center, and Kim Il Sung, the late founder of North Korea, during a rally denouncing North Korea, in front of the Unification Bridge near the border village of Panmunjom, in Paju, north of Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015. South Korea restarted propaganda broadcasts across the border with rival North Korea on Monday for the first time in 11 years in retaliation for the North allegedly planting land mines last week that maimed two South Korean soldiers. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
Members of the Korean Disabled Veterans Association by Agent Orange in Vietnam War, shout slogans as they hold mock North Korean flags and defaced images of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a rally denouncing the North Korea in front of the Unification Bridge near the border village of Panmunjom in Paju, north of Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015. South Korea restarted propaganda broadcasts across the border with rival North Korea on Monday for the first time in 11 years in retaliation for the North allegedly planting land mines last week that maimed two South Korean soldiers. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
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Pyongyang has said it has a sovereign right to pursue a space programme by launching rockets, although the United States and other governments worry that such launches are missile tests in disguise.

A spokeswoman for the International Maritime Organization, a U.N. agency, said the agency had been told by North Korea it planned to launch the 'Kwangmyongsong' satellite.

The International Telecommunication Union, another U.N. agency, also told Reuters North Korea had informed it on Tuesday of plans to launch a satellite with a functional duration of four years in a non-geostationary orbit.

North Korea said the launch would be conducted in the morning one day during the announced period, and notified the coordinates for the locations where the rocket boosters and the cover for the payload would drop.

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Those locations are expected to be in the Yellow Sea off the Korean peninsula west coast and in the Pacific Ocean to the east of the Philippines, Pyongyang said.

U.S. officials said last week North Korea was believed to be making preparations for a test launch of a long-range rocket, after activity at its test site was observed by satellite.

North Korea last launched a long-range rocket in December 2012, sending an object it described as a communications satellite into orbit.

North Korea also said last month it had successfully tested a hydrogen bomb but this was met with scepticism by U.S. and South Korean officials and nuclear experts. They said the blast was too small for it to have been a full-fledged hydrogen bomb.

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