Saturday, April 4, 2009

North Korea Rocket Launched, Debris Falls into the Pacific Ocean

Via VOA News -

North Korea launched a rocket Sunday, despite warnings from Japan, South Korea and the United States not to proceed.

The rocket, launched at 11:30 a.m. -- 0230 UTC, passed over Japan, with the first stage landing in the Sea of Japan and a booster falling in the Pacific. Japanese officials said no debris fell on its territory.

U.S. State Department spokesman Fred Lash confirmed the launch, saying Washington regarded it as a "provocative act." Washington said it would take immediate steps to let North Korea know it cannot threaten the security of others with impunity.

Japan's ambassador to the United Nations, Yukio Takasu, immediately submitted a letter to the Security Council requesting an urgent meeting. The time and date of the meeting will be announced later.

South Korea condemned the launch, calling it "reckless."

North Korea says it is a communications satellite launch. Pyongyang's neighbors and the United States believe the launch is being used as a test of the North's long-range ballistic missile capability.

Pyongyang missed its first chance at the controversial liftoff Saturday -- a move meteorologists blamed on bad weather conditions.

It had pledged to hold the launch between Saturday and Wednesday.


At this point, most are reporting that the first stage rocket fell into the Sea of Japan and the second stage rocket fell into the Pacific Ocean..status of final stage / payload is unknown.

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