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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

North Korea Launches Long-Range Rocket

RIA Novosti

05:10 12/12/2012

MOSCOW/JAPAN, December 12 (RIA Novosti) - North Korea has launched a long-range rocket on Wednesday, South Korea's Yonhap news agency said citing Seoul's defense ministry.

The launch was carried out from the launch site in the country's northwest.

The Japanese government announced that the launch was carried out at 09:51 local time (04:51 Moscow time), and the debris of its first stage fell into the Yellow Sea waters after passing over Japan's Okinawa and the second stage fell probably fell off the Philippines at 10:05 a.m. (5:05 Moscow time) .

Japan didn't order its military to intercept the North Korean rocket, the NHK TV channel said citing the Japanese government.

Shortly after the launch, security-related ministers gathered for emergency meetings in Japan and South Korea.

Pyongyang alarmed the international community when it announced earlier this month that it would attempt another rocket launch. An attempted launch last April ended in failure, when the rocket exploded shortly after take-off.

North Korea claims its new rocket was intended for putting a satellite into outer space, but the international community has widely condemned what it believes to be the development and testing of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) intended to carry nuclear warheads.

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