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Ally China expresses concern over North Korea's long-range rocket launch plans

China is expressing concern over its ally North Korea's plans to launch a long-range rocket in mid-December.

The Foreign Ministry on Sunday said all sides should work for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and avoid acts that raise tensions. It acknowledged North Korea's right to the peaceful use of outer space, but said that had to be harmonized with restrictions including those set by the United Nations Security Council.

The North Korean launch, set for Dec. 10 to 22, is likely to heighten already strained tensions with Washington and Seoul as South Korea prepares to hold presidential elections on Dec. 19. It would be North Korea's second launch attempt under leader Kim Jong Un, who took power following his father Kim Jong Il's death nearly a year ago.