North Korea said on Monday it will closely watch the international reaction on South Korea''s planned launch of a carrier rocket with a satellite on board following criticism of a similar launch conducted by Pyongyang.

South Korea is planning to launch its first carrier rocket with a small research satellite from the Naro Space Center sometime between August 14 and August 18.

"We will closely watch how members of six-party nuclear talks would respond at the UN Security Council to South Korea''s launch," the official Korean Central News Agency cited a Foreign Ministry''s statement.

Following a nuclear test in October 2006, a Security Council resolution banned North Korea from any further nuclear tests or ballistic missile launches. South Korea is under no such injunction.

North Korea launched a multistage rocket on April 5 that it said was carrying a communications satellite, defying pressure from the United States, Japan, South Korea and other countries, which suspect the launch was a cover for the test of a Taepodong-2 long-range missile.

There is little difference between a carrier rocket and a ballistic missile, and the UN Security Council condemned the April launch and threatened the reclusive communist regime with new sanctions.