The Korea Herald


North Korea launches long-range rocket

Seoul condemns test, vows coordinated measure with Washington

By Shin Ji-hye

Published : Feb. 7, 2016 - 10:34

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North Korea launched a long-range rocket from its northwest Dongchang-ri launch site on Sunday, South Korean military officials said. The test was carried out about a month after its Jan. 6 nuclear test for which the U.N. Security Council and the international community is moving to draw up stronger sanctions.

North Korea launched the long-range missile at around 9:30 a.m. after which it is believed to have disappeared from radar during fairing separation stage, the military said.
North Korea appears to have succeeded in putting what its claims to be a satellite into orbit, but Seoul officials said that further analysis will be needed to confirm its normal operation.
On 12:30 p.m. North Korea said it has succeeded in launching a long-range rocket carrying a "satellite," a move which outside experts say is a cover for testing ballistic missile technology.
The North’s Korean Central News Agency released a photo showing the launch of Gwangmeyonseong-4 on Sunday. (Yonhap) The North’s Korean Central News Agency released a photo showing the launch of Gwangmeyonseong-4 on Sunday. (Yonhap)

The satellite, named "Kwangmyongsong-4," has been successfully put into orbit, the North said in a special announcement aired on the North's state television station.
It said the satellite entered into orbit about 10 minutes after the launch.

Pyongyang has long claimed its past and the latest launch will put an earth observation satellite into orbit and that it has the sovereign right to space development for peaceful use.

The rest of the world, however, looks at it as a camouflage to testing an intercontinental ballistic missile. The North is banned from launching a rocket using ballistic missile technology.

The high-anticipated launch took place a day earlier than the North’s originally planned period between Feb. 8 and 25. The North had on Saturday advanced the launch date between Feb. 7 and 14. Observers said the advancement could be mainly due to weather conditions as the North prepared to execute the launch before the Feb. 16 birthday celebration of late leader Kim Jong-il.

It is the sixth long-range missile test by the North.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye convened an emergency security meeting and condemned the North for “going through with an unacceptable act of provocation.

She said that the government will take all necessary measures with Washington based on their alliance.

The U.S. government also condemned the rocket launch as “flagrant violation” of U.N. resolutions.

Upon the request from South Korea, the U.S. and Japan, the U.N. Security Council will hold an emergency session to discuss a response to North Korea‘s long-range rocket launch in New York at 1 a.m. Monday (Seoul time),“ a diplomatic source said.