North Korea launches long-range rocket

North Korea's state television announces long-range rocket launch to put satellite into space is complete success

Photo by: AFP (Archive)
Photo by: AFP (Archive)

North Korea's last satellite in 2012 triggered global outrage and UN condemnation

North Korean state television reported on Sunday that the Pyongyang long-range rocket launch to place a satellite into space ended in success.

North Korea had been warned several times to cancel its rocket launched by the US, South Korea and Japan.

Seoul's military announced that the North launched the rocket from the Dongchang-ri missile base in the northwest of the country, at about 9:30am (0030 GMT).

A South Korean military official was quoted by South Korea's Yonhap news agency as saying that the rocket launched appears to have put an object into space orbit.

Meanwhile, the US Strategic Command announced that its systems had also confirmed and watched what it believed to be a Pyongyang missile launch into space.

The rocket was detected at 6:29pm CST (0129 GMT Sunday) and was monitored on a southerly launch on the Yellow Sea, according to the statement.

Also, the statement specified that "NORAD determined that at no time was the missile a threat to North America."

South Korean President, Park Geun-hye, said North's action on Sunday was "an unforgivable act of provocation" 

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also stated that the launch of the "missile" was intolerable.

Japanese public broadcaster, NHK, reported that Japan did not take action to shoot down the rocket launched by North Korea on Sunday, even though it appeared over the Japan's southern Okinawa prefecture. 

North Korea said its rocket programme is targeted at launching satellites.

North Korea informed United Nations agencies on Tuesday that it planned to launch a satellite as early as next week.

The plan creates distress, as it could improve Pyongyang's long-range missile technology, after North Korea said it tested a hydrogen bomb, on Jan. 6.

The United Nations Security Council banned North Korea from conducting tests that use ballistic missile technology, and is also under heavy sanctions, due to its ongoing nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

Following the incident, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) will hold an emergency meeting on Sunday to discuss the problematic North Korean rocket launch as requested by US, Japan and South Korea, the UN press office said.

Before North Korea fired the long-range rocket, South Korea’s presidential office indicated that North Korea's previous satellite launch was a step towards launching the long-range missile and added that Pyongyang would pay a "severe price" if it continues.

TRTWorld and agencies