North Korea Launches Long-Range Rocket
2 years ago Alinta Abeer 0
The rocket took off at around 9 am Pyongyang time from the North’s west coast, according to South Korea’s defence ministry. In a state TV broadcast, a female North Korean announcer, wearing a traditional dress, said the “epochal” launch, personally ordered by leader Kim Jong-Un, had “successfully put our Earth observation satellite into orbit”. Japan’s NHK broadcaster reported that debris from the rocket was believed to have fallen about 155 miles (250km) off the south-west coast of the Korean Peninsula into the East China Sea about 14 minutes after the launch. It also showed footage of an object visible in the skies from the southern island of Okinawa that was believed to be the rocket. North Korea had labelled the planned launch as part of its space exploration programmed, but most of the world views it as a disguised ballistic missile test.
The UN Security Committee prohibits North Korea from atomic and ballistic missile activity. Both US Secretary of State John Kerry and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe condemned the launch as “a violation” of UN Security Council resolutions. Mr Kerry said it was the second time in just over a month that North Korea has chosen to conduct “a major provocation, threatening not only the security of the Korean Peninsula but that of the region and the United States as well”. South Korean President Park Geun-Hye urged the UN to “take strong punitive measures quickly”. The US, Japan, and South Korea have requested an emergency meeting of the Security Council to discuss the North’s actions and whether to push for more stringent sanctions. But journalist Alex Jensen, in the South Korean capital Seoul, told Sky News that North Korea was already one of the most sanctioned countries in the world. He said: “At the UN Security Council, China North Korea’s ally has veto-wielding power. But even if China were again to adopt sanctions on North Korea many observers say that officials in Beijing would turn a blind eye and let these sanctions be averted there is no sign Beijing would be willing to cut off Pyongyang.”