Pyongyang, North Korea - President Kim Jong-il announced today that North Korea would not send a satellite into orbit in April as originally planned, but will substitute the payload with a chicken. The communist government's sudden reversal of policy suggests a new tone of diplomacy with its Eastern neighbors.
Japan responded with the news: "We are not chicken of North Korea and will shoot down any flying object above our territory regardless of how foul this may seem." said a senior member of Prime Minister Taro Aso's cabinet.
Tensions between North Korea and Japan flared earlier in the year with a display of fireworks at the Japanese embassy in Pyongyang. The announcement of Pyongyang chicken in space angered the Japanese when it was learned that the bird was named after one of Japan's most sacred comic hero.
American Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton denounced the new launch as a ploy by the North Korean government to bring the peninsula into a higher state of tension. "Our policy is to not let this issue boil, or simmer without the proper ingredients for peace."
It is expected that North Korea will launch the rocket on schedule to coincide with the month of the bird.