NKOREA DEFIES WARNINGS, LAUNCHES LONG-RANGE ROCKET
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- North Korea appeared to successfully fire a long-range rocket Wednesday, defying international warnings as the regime of Kim Jong Un pushes forward with its quest to develop the technology needed to deliver a nuclear warhead.
Pyongyang's state media quickly claimed that the country had succeed in its mission of putting a peaceful satellite into orbit with its long-range Unha-3 rocket. Officials at the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, said North Korea appeared to have put an object into space.
NORAD: NKorea appears to have orbited 'an object'
WASHINGTON (AP) — The North American Aerospace Defense Command says North Korea appears to have launched "an object" into Earth orbit, but neither the missile used nor debris from the launch are a threat to North America.
NORAD officials said U.S. missile warning systems detected and tracked the launch at 7:49 p.m. EST Tuesday. The missile was tracked in a southerly direction.
NORAD said initial indications were that the first stage of the rocket fell into the Yellow Sea and that the second stage fell into the Philippine Sea.
Quoting a NORAD news release: "Initial indications are that the missile deployed an object that appeared to achieve orbit. At no time was the missile or the resultant debris a threat to North America."
NORAD is based at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado.