The White House is warning North Korea that a suspected rocket launch set for next month would be a "provocative act" in violation of U.N. Security Council mandates. North Korea says the rocket is designed to carry a satellite into orbit. The North says the launch is timed for the eve of the inaugural session of its new parliament and for the April 15 birthday of its late founder, Kim Il Sung.
But regional powers suspect North Korea will use the launch to test the delivery technology for a long-range missile.
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Thursday that any rocket launch would be "provocative" and violate Security Council resolutions.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made similar comments Wednesday.