A Pyongyang official has announced that North Korea is poised to complete preparations for its rocket launch scheduled for later this week.
A satellite will be installed on the Unha-3 rocket by the end of Tuesday, the official told foreign journalists in a rare press conference.
The official dismissed concerns that the launch was a cover for developing missile technology as “nonsense”.
Three Asian airlines have made changes to flight paths to avoid the rocket.
“We are expecting to complete assembly by today,” said Ryu Kum-Chol, deputy director of the space development department at the Committee of Space Technology.
Ryu Kum-Chol said the launch was part of the peaceful development of North Korea’s space programme.
North Korea also says it will mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of its late leader Kim Il-Sung.
But opponents of the move fear it is a disguised test of long-range missile technology.
The Philippine Airlines, Japan Airlines (JAL) and All Nippon Airways (ANA) have announced changes to the flight paths several affected routes ahead of the launch period between 12-16 April.