Morning Brief: North Korea launches long-range rocket

From Foreign Policy Wed Dec 12 2012, 08:08:15

North Korea launches long-range rocket

Top news: On Wednesday, North Korea and its new leader Kim Jong Un followed up on a failed rocket launch in April with the successful launch of a long-range Unha-3 rocket. Japan, South Korea, and the United States have opposed the action, arguing that Pyongyang is testing missile technology to deliver a nuclear warhead.

After the launch, North Korea's KCNA news agency reported that the country's "scientists and technicians brilliantly carried out [Kim Jong Il's] behests to launch a scientific and technological satellite in 2012, the year marking the 100th birth anniversary of President Kim Il Sung."

In response, Japan has called for an emergency session of the U.N. Security Council and South Korea has convened an emergency meeting of top government officials. The United States has condemned North Korea's "highly provocative act" while China, North Korea's closest ally, says it "regrets" the launch, in what the New York Times claims is the first time Beijing "has used that word in the context of Pyongyang's rocket program."  

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