South Korea Officials Say North Korea Has Fired Its Long-Range Rocket
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea fired a long-range rocket Wednesday in its second launch under its new leader, South Korean officials said, defying warnings from the U.N. and Washington only days before South Korean presidential elections.
South Korean defense officials said the rocket was fired from a west coast launch pad but there was no immediate word if the rocket was successful. North Korea had indicated technical problems with the rocket and extended its launch window. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity, citing office rules.
North Korea’s Kim Jong Un took power after his father Kim Jong Il died on Dec. 17 last year, and the launch also comes about a month before President Barack Obama is inaugurated for his second term.
The North says the Unha rocket is meant to put a satellite in orbit. A similar launch in April broke apart shortly after liftoff, and the condemnation that attempt received is likely to be repeated. Washington sees the launch as a cover for a test of technology for missiles that could be used to strike the United States.
Rocket tests are seen as crucial to advancing North Korea’s nuclear weapons ambitions. North Korea is thought to have only a handful of rudimentary nuclear bombs. But Pyongyang is not yet believed capable of building warheads small enough to mount on a missile that could threaten the United States.
North Korea has spent decades trying to perfect a multistage, long-range rocket. Experts say that ballistic missiles and rockets in satellite launches share similar bodies, engines and other technology. This is the fifth attempt at a long-range launch since 1998, when Pyongyang sent a rocket hurtling over Japan. Previous launches of three-stage rockets weren’t considered successful.
Washington sees North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles as a threat to world security and to its Asian allies, Japan and South Korea.
North Korea under new leader Kim has pledged to bolster its nuclear arsenal unless Washington scraps what Pyongyang calls a hostile policy.
Benghazi, IRS, AP...What's next? Only TheBlaze TV offers the truth from Glenn Beck, Andrew Wilkow, and Real News from TheBlaze. Get instant access and a free trial here.
- ‘The Daily Show’ Creator Makes Outrageously Offensive Anti-Conservative Joke About Okla. Tornado 463 Comments
- Washington Times Writer: Fox News Scandal Goes ‘Much Deeper,’ W.H. Sitting on Something Top Obama Aides ‘Terrified’ About 440 Comments
- University Will Investigate Christian Professor’s Intelligent Design Class Following Atheist Furor 315 Comments
- See the First Behind-the-Scenes Photos as Beck and Mercury One Survey the Damage in Okla. 255 Comments
- Incredible: The Moment a Woman’s Dog Emerges from Rubble During TV Interview Right After She Describes Losing Him 229 Comments
- Farrakhan Talks of ‘Satanic Jews’ and ‘Synagogue of Satan’ at Detroit Church Speech — but Wait Until You Hear Who Was in Attendance Read More
- Biden Praises Jewish Leaders for Helping Change Americans’ Views on Gay Marriage Read More
- ‘Death! You F**k!’: Bat Mitzvah Chaperone Unleashes Explosive, Profanity-Laced Tirade Against Kids Over Candy-Throwing Incident Read More
- How Can God Let Tragedies Like the Okla. Tornado Exist? Pastors Weigh In 173 Comments
- Is This Video of Pope Francis Performing an Exorcism? 100 Comments
- China Sets off What Could Be the World’s Longest Demolition Read More
- Here are the 5 Most Interesting Moments from Tuesday’s Hearing on the IRS Scandal 118 Comments
- Jay Carney Shifts IRS Timeline (Again!) 104 Comments
- Top IRS Official at Center of Political Targeting Scandal Will Plead the Fifth 138 Comments
- Disgraced IRS Interim Chief Now Fully Admits Knowledge of Planted Question (but Did It Reveal a Past Half-Truth?) Read More
- The Incredible Role Facebook Played in the Aftermath of Devastating Okla. Tornado Read More
- Tech Company Demonstrates Remote Disabling of a ‘Smart Gun’ Read More
- Meet the Blind Man Nicknamed ‘Midnight Gunslinger’ Who Has 80% Shot Accuracy Read More
- How a $4.5 Million Network of 181 Sirens Helped Save Lives in Oklahoma Twister Read More
- See the Record-Setting Python a Man Caught With His Bare Hands (and Guess How Much It Weighed) Read More
- Syrian opposition urges rebels to join key battle
- Iran's Ahmadinejad denounces election decision
- Trial for captain in deadly shipwreck in Italy
- Target's 1Q profit drops 26 pct on weak sales
- FEMA Chief: Feds won't go 'when the cameras leave'
- Boy Scout leaders to vote on lifting gay ban
- Futures rise; all eyes on the Fed
- Parents face tough choice when tornadoes bear down