UN Security Council to meet over North Korea rocket launch

The UN Security Council is to hold an emergency meeting later following North Korea’s launch of a long-range rocket.

The meeting was requested by South Korea, Japan and the US to agree on a collective response to the launch.

Pyongyang said it fired the rocket to place a satellite in orbit, but critics believe the real purpose was to test a ballistic missile.
Sunday’s launch comes weeks after North Korea held a fourth nuclear test – both acts violate UN resolutions.

The launch of the rocket was hailed by North Korean media as a “fascinating vapour… trailing in the clear and blue sky in spring of February on the threshold of the Day of the Shining Star”.

Part-HKG-Hkg10253119-1-1-0A statement said a new Earth observation satellite, Kwangmyongsong-4, had successfully been put into orbit less than 10 minutes after lift-off from the Sohae space centre in North Phyongan province.

Hailing it as part of the country’s peaceful space programme, a state TV newsreader said the launch had been ordered by North Korea’s leader Kim Jon-un and more satellite launches were planned for the future.

South Korean MPs were told in a closed-door briefing by the country’s spy agency later on Sunday that the launch should be treated as a ballistic missile test as the satellite it put into orbit would be useless._88134126_88134125

The payload was presumed to weigh 200kg (440lbs), double the size of the one launched in 2012, but much lighter than the 800-1,500kg usual for a satellite.

They were also reportedly told that North Korea has the technology for intercontinental ballistic missiles and is preparing a fifth nuclear test, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.

Source: BBC