Japan, South Korea and the US have called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on Sunday minutes after North Korea ‘successfully’ fired a long-range rocket, which critics said was a test of banned missile technology.
According to the North’s state TV, the country successfully placed a satellite in orbit.
BBC reported quoting the North Korean National Aerospace Development Administration that earth observation satellite Kwangmyongsong-4 had entered orbit about 10 minutes after lift-off from the Sohae space centre in North Phyongan province.
A newsreader on state TV said that it had been ordered by North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un adding that the country planned to launch more satellites in the future.
Describing the launch thge newsreader added, “The fascinating vapour of Juche satellite trailing in the clear and blue sky in spring of February on the threshold of the Day of the Shining Star.”
Reports suggest that the rocket was fired from a base in the north-west and passed over Japan’s southern Okinawa islands.
The latest rocket launch comes a month after North Korea conducted its fourth nuclear test on 6 January.
The rocket launch by North Korea, which is facing hosts of international sanctions, has attracted wide international condemnation.
Japan, South Korea and the US have called for an emergency meeting UN Security Council to discuss the fallout of this development.
Although, North Korea maintains that the rocket launch is purely scientific in nature, both its rivals and ally China say that the real purpose could be aimed at developing inter-continental ballistic missile capable of hitting the US.
US National Security Adviser Susan Rice said North Korea’s use of ballistic missile technology was “yet another destabilizing and provocative action”.
She said, “North Korea’s missile and nuclear weapons programs represent serious threats to our interests – including the security of some of our closest allies.”
Japanese government issued a statement soon after the launch.
The statement read, “This series of provocation in a short range of time gravely undermines the peace and stability of the region and the international community including Japan, and is totally unacceptable.
“The launch is a violation of UNSCR 2094 which obligates North Korea not to conduct any launches using ballistic missile technology, as well as other relevant UNSCRs and the Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration, and is also against the spirit of the Joint Statement of the Six Party Talks of September 2005. Japan lodges its serious protest and strongly condemns North Korea.”