North Korea Launches Long-Range Rocket

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

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UPDATE: Tuesday, December 11, 2012

North Korea has confirmed the launch of a long-range rocket, and is declaring it a success.

Pyongyang's state media announced Wednesday that a special broadcast about the launch would take place at noon (0300 GMT).

South Korean and Japanese officials confirmed that liftoff took place shortly before 10 a.m. (0100 GMT). Along with the U.S., they had been urging North Korea to refrain from a launch widely seen as a cover for a test of banned ballistic missile technology.

NORAD says the North Korean missile appears to have launched "an object" into orbit.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

South Korea says North Korea has fired a long-range rocket in a defiant move just days ahead of South Korea's presidential election.

It was the second rocket launch under leader Kim Jong Un. Kim took power following his father Kim Jong Il's death one year ago.

It wasn't immediately clear if the rocket launch Wednesday morning succeeded. A similar launch in April broke apart shortly after liftoff.

Officials at South Korea's Defense Ministry and its Joint Chiefs of Staff who confirmed the launch spoke anonymously because of department rules.

The United Nations, Washington, Seoul and others condemned Pyongyang for the launches. Washington calls them a cover to test technology for missiles that could be used to strike the United States.

North Korea says its putting a monitoring satellite into orbit.

Japan says debris from the rocket landed in seas off the Korean Peninsula and the Philippines.

Government spokesman Osamu Fujimura said Japanese people were urged to go on with their lives as normal. He protested against the launch, saying it was not something that should be allowed.

Fujimura said debris landed west of the Korean Peninsula and east of the Philippines.

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