SEOUL, South Korea (CBSNewYork/AP) — North Korea has launched a long-range rocket that the United Nations is calling a test of technology meant to reach the U.S.
But in a special announcement read on state-run North Korean TV, the announcer said the country put a satellite into orbit and said it will launch more satellites.
The North’s special announcement said the launch was ordered by leader Kim Jong Un.
The launch Sunday follows North Korea’s claim last month to have tested a hydrogen bomb and will likely draw more sanctions and condemnation in the United Nations.
Japan has sent a strong protest to North Korea through their respective embassies in Beijing following North Korea’s rocket launch. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the launch violated existing U.N. resolutions on Pyongyang’s use of ballistic missile technology.
Japan and the U.S. have requested an emergency U.N. Security Council session to discuss the situation.
Secretary of State John Kerry also condemned the launch as “a flagrant violation of U.N. Security Council Resolutions” related to Pyongyang’s use of ballistic missile technology.
Kerry said this is the second time in just over a month that North Korea has chosen to conduct “a major provocation, threatening not only the security of the Korean Peninsula, but that of the region and the United States as well.”
He reaffirmed Washington’s “ironclad commitment to the defense of our allies, including the Republic of Korea and Japan.”
Kerry said the U.S. will continue to work with its partners and members of the U.N. Security Council on significant measures to hold North Korea to account.
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