The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has launched a long-range rocket that is claimed to be carrying an earth observation satellite, amidst international criticism.
North Korea’s state news agency KCNA reported that the rocket took off on a southward trajectory from a north-western Sohae satellite launching station.
The US, South Korea, Japan, China, Russia, Britain and France, as well as the European Union and Nato, were swift to condemn the launch.
The US federal government said in a statement: "The US strongly condemns today’s missile launch by the D.P.R.K., a flagrant violation of UN Security Council Resolutions related to the D.P.R.K. use of ballistic missile technology."
"Now is the time to do so in a firm and united way, with measures that make clear the determination of the international community to ?address the pursuit of nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities by the D.P.R.K. and this most recent destabilising and unacceptable challenge to our common peace and security."
In January, North Korea claimed to have tested a hydrogen bomb. However, the claims were dismissed by the international community stating that the nation was not yet technically capable enough to conduct such tests.
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Additionally, the nation also confirmed that it tested a submarine-launched ballistic missile. The tests prompted UN Security Council members to impose sanctions against the country, which is already under sanctions for its nuclear and missile programmes.
It last launched a long-range rocket in 2012, which was referred to as a communications satellite.