N Korea launches long-range rocket despite warnings

13:00, 07 February 2016
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North Korea has launched a long-range rocket, violating UN resolutions and doubling down against an international community already determined to punish Pyongyang for a nuclear test last month, according to Al Jazeera.


State media said on Sunday the mission to put a satellite into space was a "complete success" as the country vowed to continue launching satellites in the future, Al Jazeera reported.

Pyongyang labelled the launch part of a purely scientific space programme, but most of the world viewed it as a disguised ballistic missile test.

The rocket took off at around 09:00 Pyongyang time (00:30 GMT), according to the South Korean defense ministry.

Its pre-orbital flight arc was planned to traverse the Yellow Sea and further south to the Philippine Sea, with both South Korea and Japan threatening to shoot it down if it encroached on their territory.

Read alsoNorth Korea says nuclear test shows it could 'wipe out' U.S.Despite Pyongyang's insistence on a peaceful space mission, its rockets are considered dual-use technology with both civil and military applications.

The UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting later on Sunday in New York over the launch, following a request by South Korea, Japan and the US.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the launch "deeply deplorable" and urged North Korea to "halt its provocative actions".

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