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IMAGES: North Korea rocket launch FAILS

Last updated on: April 13, 2012 08:39 IST

North Korea rocket launch FAILS

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Defying warnings from the international community, North Korea on Friday launched its long-range rocket but its neighbours say the rocket failed shortly after take-off. It broke apart before escaping the earth's atmosphere and fell into the sea, said the United States, Japan and South Korea.

"It flew about a minute, and it flew into the ocean," said Noriyuki Shikata, a spokesman for Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda. He added that Japanese authorities "have not identified any negative impacts, so far," though he said the international ramifications could be significant. "This is something that we think is a regrettable development," he said, according to the CNN.

There has been no word yet from North Korea on the launch.

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Image: A South Korean passenger looks at a TV report on North Korea's rocket launch at Seoul railway station in Seoul April 13
Photographs: Reuters

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North Korea rocket launch FAILS

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The US has accused North Korea of "violating" international law by its "provocative" act to launch a long-range rocket -- even though it was a failedattempt -- hours after the top eight powerful countries asked it not to do so.

"Despite the failure of its attempted missile launch, North Korea's provocative action threatens regional security, violates international law and contravenes its own recent commitments," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said.

"While this action is not surprising given North Korea's pattern of aggressive behaviour, any missile activity by North Korea is of concern to the international community. The US remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations, and is fully committed to the security our allies in the region," Carney said in a statement.



Image: A South Korean soldier rides on a self-propelled artillery vehicle during a military exercise against North Korea's possible attack near the demilitarised zone separating the two Koreas in Paju, about 45 km north of Seoul, April 13
Photographs: Reuters

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North Korea rocket launch FAILS

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US President Barack Obama was clear that he was prepared to engage constructively with North Korea. However, he has also insisted that North Korea live up to its own commitments, adhere to its international obligations and deal peacefully with its neighbors, he noted. 

By such an act, North Korea is only further isolating itself by engaging in provocative acts, and is wasting its money on weapons and propaganda displays while the North Korean people go hungry, Carney said.



Image: A soldier stands guard in front of the Unha-3 (Milky Way 3) rocket sitting on a launch pad at the West Sea Satellite Launch Site, during a guided media tour by North Korean authorities in the northwest of Pyongyang
Photographs: Reuters

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"North Korea's long-standing development of missiles and pursuit of nuclear weapons have not brought it security -- and never will. North Korea will only show strength and find security by abiding by international law, living up to its obligations, and by working to feed its citizens, to educate its children, and to win the trust of its neighbours," he said.

US Defence officials, who were monitoring the missile launch, said that it was a complete failure. "The missile was tracked on a southerly launch over the Yellow Sea," the Pentagon said in a statement.


Image: The Unha-3 (Milky Way 3) rocket is pictured on a launch pad at the West Sea Satellite Launch Site during a guided media tour by North Korean authorities in the northwest of Pyongyang
Photographs: Reuters

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North Korea rocket launch FAILS

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The US systems detected and tracked a launch of the North Korean Taepo Dong-2 missile at 6:39 pm New York time. "Initial indications are that the first stage of missile fell into the sea 165 km west of Seoul, South Korea. The remaining stages were assessed to have failed and no debris fell on land. At no time were the missile or the resultant debris a threat," the statement said.  

Earlier in the day, foreign ministers of G-8 countries voiced renewed concern about the behaviour of the North Korea on a wide range of issues and expressed regret about its plan to launch a missile and demanded Pyongyang not to do that.



Image: A North Korean scientist looks at a monitor showing the Unha-3 rocket on a launch pad, at a control centre on the outskirts of Pyongyang
Photographs: Reuters

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