According to North Korea’s state-run television network, on March 17, 2016, it was reported they launched a satellite into space. CNN reported this action was referred to as “destabilizing and provocative” by the United States.
The KCNA network stated that Kwangmyongsong-4, the carrier rocket, was launched from the Space Center in Sahoe, on Sunday, March 13, and was in orbit less than a minute later. This operation was personally ordered by Kim Jong Un.
Though North Korea claimed the satellite is for scientific use and there are plans to launch more satellites, other countries, including South Korea and Japan, believe the satellite launch was a cover for a ballistic missile test. This has caused great concern since North Korea claimed to have completed a hydrogen bomb test in February.
A U.S. defense official said the trajectory of the rocket was over the Yellow Sea and was not a threat to America or its allies. However, a U.S. Strategic Command spokesman stated a second object had been detected in orbit. Arms control expert, David Wright, reported the second object appeared to be the third stage of the rocket booster.
The Japanese Prime Minister’s office believed that parts of the rocket had fallen in four different areas after it was launched. The locations were the Yellow Sea, two parts fell into the East China Sea and the fourth part, in the Pacific Ocean. All four areas were around the Korean peninsula and Japan.
By Jeanette Smith
Edited by Cathy Milne
CNN: U.S., other nations condemn North Korean launch of long-range rocket
Image Courtesy of Kenneth Lu’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License