Discuss as:

North Korea shows off its launch pad and satellite

David Guttenfelder / AP

The satellite that North Korean officials say will be launched with the country's Unha-3 rocket, slated for liftoff between April 12-16, is shown to the media at Sohae Satellite Station in Tongchang-ri, North Korea on April 8. North Korean space officials have moved a long-range rocket into position for this week's controversial satellite launch, vowing Sunday to push ahead with their plans in defiance of international warnings against violating a ban on missile activity.

David Guttenfelder / AP

A North Korean soldier tries to keep order as journalists gather around the North Korean satellite.

North Korea maintains that the launch is a scientific achievement intended to improve the nation's faltering economy by providing detailed surveys of the countryside.

"Our country has the right and also the obligation to develop satellites and launching vehicles," Jang Myong Jin, general manager of the launch facility, said during a tour, citing the U.N. space treaty. "No matter what others say, we are doing this for peaceful purposes."

-- Reported by the Associated Press

Pedro Ugarte / AFP - Getty Images

North Korean technicians work in the control room of the Tongchang-ri space center on April 8.

Ng Han Guan / AP

A North Korean waitress serves packaged meals for lunch on a train heading to North Phyongan Province, 35 miles south of the border town of Sinuiju along North Korea's west coast, April 8. North Korean officials escorted a group of international media by train from Pyongyang to see the country's Unha-3 rocket, slated for liftoff between April 12-16, at Sohae Satellite Station in Tongchang-ri, North Korea.

David Guttenfelder / AP

A North Korean soldier stands at a check point seen from a train heading to North Phyongan Province.

Bobby Yip / Reuters

A conductor displays flag signals to a passing-by train outside a station featuring a portrait of North Korean founder Kim Il Sung northwest of Pyongyang, April 8.

Pedro Ugarte / AFP - Getty Images

The North Korean Unha-3 rocket is pictured at Tangachai -ri space center on April 8.