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Russia Urges North Korea Not To Test Missile

A satellite image from March 26 that was released by The Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) in Washington and purportedly showing a long-range missile on a launch pad at Musudan-Ri
MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Russia has said North Korea should abstain from testing a long-range missile and called for dialogue with Pyongyang to resolve the situation.

"We understand that the current situation in the region of North-East Asia is tense, and this is why it would be better if our partners in North Korea abstained from this, from this launch," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksei Borodavkin told journalists on March 27.

Pyongyang has said it will launch a communications satellite between April 4 and 8, but regional powers believe the real purpose is to test a long-range missile, the Taepodong-2, which is believed to be already in place on its launch pad.

Japan has ordered its military to prepare to intercept any dangerous debris that might fall on its territory if the missile launch goes wrong.

North Korea has said any attempt to shoot down the rocket itself would be an act of war.

"We have to calmly assess the situation, to take a clear-eyed view of it, without much agitation," Borodavkin said. "And all the issues which...emerge because of this launch must be resolved through dialogue and consultations with all the parties involved."

"We have expressed this position to them and to our other partners, and we continue to adhere to this point of view," Borodavkin said.