North Korea has defied international warnings and launched the Unha-3 rocket from the Sohae Space Centre. The country has declared the launch a success.
North Korea's KCNA news agency announced: "The second version of satellite Kwangmyongsong-3 successfully lifted off from the Sohae Space Center by carrier rocket Unha-3 on Wednesday. The satellite has entered the orbit as planned." (The Telegraph)
The isolated nation had announced its intent to launch the rocket earlier this month as Digital Journal reported. The announcement brought condemnation from the U.S., South Korea, Japan, and Russia. The launch took place earlier than expected as North Korea stated technical problems meant the deadline for the launch had been extended until Dec. 29.
RT reported the Japanese government confirmed "The debris of the rocket fell into waters off the Philippines at 10:05 a.m. local time after passing over Okinawa." The Japanese did not activate its missile defense system in response to the launch, in spite of earlier announcing its intent to do so.
Nations opposed to North Korea's satellite programme consider the country could be testing its nuclear capability.