Archive for Sunday, April 5, 2009

Nation launches rocket, defying world leaders

April 5, 2009

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— North Korea defiantly carried out a provocative rocket launch early today that the U.S., Japan and other nations suspect was a cover for a test of its long-range missile technology.

Liftoff took place from the coastal Musudan-ri launch pad in northeastern North Korea, the South Korean and U.S. governments said. The multistage rocket hurtled toward the Pacific, reaching Japanese airspace within seven minutes, but no debris appeared to hit its territory, officials in Tokyo said.

President Barack Obama said North Korea should refrain from further provocative actions.

“I urge North Korea to abide fully by the resolutions of the U.N. Security Council,” the president said as the council approved an emergency session today to deal with North Korea’s rocket launch.

The launch was a bold act of defiance against Obama, Japanese leader Taro Aso, Hu Jintao of China and others who pressed Pyongyang in the days leading up to liftoff to call off a launch they said would threaten peace and stability in Northeast Asia.

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