Reports Confirm NorK Missile Launch

4 04 2009

Here’s the first  story from WSJ.

North Korea launched a multi-stage rocket Sunday in defiance of international pressure. The rocket passed safely across Japan and over the Pacific Ocean, Japanese authorities said.

The rocket lifted off shortly after 11:30 a.m. local time from a military site in a rural area called Musudan-ri, near the town of Hwadae, on the country’s northeast coast, then arced over the Sea of Japan and Pacific Ocean.

A missile is shown on the launchpad at Musudan-ni, North Korea, formally know as Taepo-dong missle launch facility.

There was no immediate word how far the rocket flew or if it made it to space to deliver a satellite, as North Korea said it intended.

This appeared on North Korea’s official new agency website earlier today:

DPRK to launch Its Satellite Soon

Pyongyang, April 4 (KCNA) — Preparations for launching “Kwangmyongsong-2,” an experimental communications satellite, by carrier rocket “Unha-2” have been completed at the satellite launching ground in the east coastal area of the DPRK, according to the information available from the Korean Committee of Space Technology. The satellite will be launched soon.
There is no change in the technological indexes necessary for the safe navigation of airliners and ships provided to the international organizations and the countries concerned in advance.

UPDATE

From Reuters:

The U.S. State Department confirmed North Korea had launched the rocket but had no further details. South Korea’s presidential Blue House would make a statement at 11:00 p.m. EDT, local TV said.

Japan said the rocket’s second booster stage had splashed down in the Pacific Ocean, indicating the launch had been successful.

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