By Paula Hancocks and Jethro Mullen
updated 6:07 AM EDT, Fri March 16, 2012
Seoul, South Korea (CNN)
-- North Korea plans to launch an "earth observation" satellite using a carrier rocket in April, the country's official news agency said Friday, a move that would potentially violate U.N. Security Council demands.
The announcement could also threaten a deal struck last month with the United States in which Pyongyang agreed to halt nuclear tests, long-range missile launches and enrichment activities in exchange for food aid.
In a statement, the U.S. described the announcement as "highly provocative," saying North Korea is violating its international obligations.
"Such a missile launch would pose a threat to regional security and would also be inconsistent with North Korea's recent undertaking to refrain from long-range missile launches," said Victoria Nuland, a State Department spokeswoman.