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North Korea Launches Rocket, Deploys Object Into Orbit

Agnus Dei Farrant |
December 12, 2012 | 10:42 a.m. PST

Executive Producer

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (Creative Commons).
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (Creative Commons).

North Korea launched a long-range rocket carrying a satellite from the Sohae Space Center in Cholsan County shortly before 10 a.m. local time, CNN reported. 

The country said the rocket put a weather satellite into orbit, Reuters reported, though the United States, South Korea and Japan called the launch a test of technology that could eventually deliver a nuclear warhead capable of hitting targets as far away as the continental U.S. 

North Korea is banned by United Nations resolutions from developing nuclear and missile-related technology, according to Reuters.

The U.N. Security Council condemned the country's missile launch, BBC reported. The U.S. also said Pyongyang will face "consequences" for the launch, calling it a "highly provocative act that threatens regional security."

White House spokesman Jay Carney did not specify what "consequences" were being discussed, BBC reported, but said Washington would assess what action was being taken by the U.N. Security Council. 

"The world is not falling apart, like some would say, but at the same time this is not a joke. There was a lot of pre-media coverage that said that North Korea was not good at missile technology and were sort of ridiculing them," said Philip Yun, executive director of the Ploughshare Fund and a former adviser to the U.S. government, to CNN. 

Yun referenced North Korea’s failed rocket launch in April. 

The news organization reported that the Japanese government said that the rocket soared over Okinawa, dropping debris into the sea off the Korean Peninsula, the East China Sea and near the Philippines. 

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) said the missile “deployed an object that appeared to achieve orbit,” Reuters reported. 

"The success of the launch -- which most analysts assume is a clandestine missile test -- brings North Korea one step closer to demonstrating a viable and reliable long-range delivery vehicle for a nuclear warhead," said Benjamin Habib, lecturer in Politics and International Relations School of Social Sciences at La Trobe University, to CNN. 


Read more of Neon Tommy’s coverage on North Korea here.

Reach Executive Producer Agnus Dei Farrant here.



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