An article in Voice of America says that Russia has asked North Korea to not go ahead with its missile launch, scheduled between December 10 and 22, close to the December 17th date of the death of former leader Kim Jong-il.:
Russia joins an international chorus expressing concern about the North's intentions. Pyongyang says the rocket will carry an earth observation satellite into orbit, but the effort is widely , suspected to be a cover for testing North Korea's ballistic missile technology. China, the North's main ally and key benefactor also said Sunday it was concerned at the launch plans.
Japan has announced the postponement of two days of talks with North Korea that had been scheduled to begin in Beijing Wednesday because of the impending launch.
Japanese Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto on Saturday ordered the military to make the necessary defensive preparations for a North Korean missile should it go off course and threaten Japanese territory. North Korea made a similar launch attempt in April that failed.Despite the many nations lined up against it, North Korea is unlikely to heed their concerns. For Kim Jong-un, the young leader of the totalitarian state, it is more important to assert and extend his authority. On the line are his credentials as a tough and determined leader, which includes not only resisting the urgings of the international community, but also succeeding in the planned missile test.
You can read the rest of the article at [Voice of America].