The Unha-3 (Milky Way 3) rocket launch at West Sea Satellite Launch Site in Cholsan county, North Pyongan province in North Korea, Dec. 12, 2012. REUTERS/KCNA

North Korea has brought forward a time frame for the launch of a rocket that it says will carry an earth observation satellite, to begin on Sunday, the Japanese and South Korean governments said on Saturday.

North Korea had earlier told the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) it would launch the rocket some time between Feb. 8 and Feb. 25. The announcement triggered international opposition from governments that see it as a long-range missile test.

Japan and South Korea said North Korea was now saying the launch would take place some time between Sunday and the following Sunday, Feb. 14.

The IMO did not immediately respond to a Reuters query for confirmation. The International Telecommunication Union, another U.N. agency, said it was not aware of an amended time frame for the launch from North Korea.