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DPRK succeeds in satellite launch, draws protests
                 English.news.cn | 2012-12-12 16:23:56 | Editor: Deng Shasha

 

DPRK says it successfully launched controversial long-range rocket

SEOUL, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) said Wednesday it successfully fired off a long-range rocket mounted with a satellite, defying expectations that technical problems might delay or even call off the mission that has drawn international attention.

"The second version of satellite Kwangmyongsong-3 successfully lifted off from the Sohae Space Center by carrier rocket Unha-3 on Wednesday," the DPRK's official Korean Central News Agency said, adding the satellite entered orbit.

The launch was the DPRK's second bid of the year and its fifth attempt since 1998 to launch a long-range rocket that Washington and its key Asian allies say is a disguised ballistic missile test and a violation of UN resolutions.

Pyongyang, whose previous mission in April ended in failure, has countered that the satellite is for peaceful scientific purposes only and that it would abide by international regulations.

South Korea's defense ministry said the first stage of the rocket fell in the Yellow Sea off Byeonsan-bando in South Korea's North Jeolla Province. The Japanese government also said the rocket passed the southern island chain of Okinawa at around 10:01 a.m. local time and fell in waters off the Philippines shortly afterwards.

The move came after the authorities here said the DPRK seemed to have removed the rocket from the launch pad in an apparent attempt to fix technical problems Pyongyang cited when it extended the launch window by one week until Dec. 29.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak convened an emergency security meeting immediately after the launch, and intelligence authorities here are reportedly in consultations with their U.S. and Japanese counterparts to track the rocket.

South Korea's foreign minister Kim Sung-hwan said in an official statement the launch violates the UN resolution that bans the DPRK from conducting additional nuclear and missile tests, adding Pyongyang will face "further international isolation."

The controversial launch came before the first anniversary of the Dec. 17 death of former top DPRK leader Kim Jong Il and as crucial elections fast approach in South Korea and Japan. Observers here say the launch is also meant to test the second Obama administration and the new leadership in China.

详讯:朝鲜宣布“光明星3号”卫星发射成功

新华网平壤12月12日电(记者张利 杜白羽)据朝中社12日报道,朝鲜“光明星3号”卫星发射成功,卫星进入预定轨道。

报道说,“银河3号”运载火箭于当地时间12日9时49分46秒从平安北道铁山郡的西海卫星发射场发射升空,于9时59分13秒将第二颗“光明星3号”卫星准确送入自己的轨道。目前,“光明星3号”卫星以97.4度的轨道倾角,在近地点高度499.7公里、远地点高度584.18公里的轨道上运行,运行周期为95分29秒。报道说,作为科技卫星的“光明星3号”卫星搭载了地球观测所需的观测器材和通信器材。

报道说,“光明星3号”卫星发射成功是朝鲜堂堂正正地行使自主和平宇宙利用权利、发展国家科技和经济的具有转折意义的事件。

平日白天不播节目的朝鲜中央电视台当天12时也临时播出消息,宣布朝鲜成功发射卫星,并且每到整点都重播这条新闻。街头宣传车在平壤街道用车载大喇叭广播朝鲜成功发射卫星的消息。

新华社记者当天在平壤街头看到,主要街道和金日成广场、平壤火车站等地一切如常,平壤大剧院门前有身穿民族服装的演员在跳舞庆祝,有人群观看和记者拍摄。

韩国总统李明博当天紧急召开国家安全保障会议,以应对朝鲜发射卫星。韩国总理金滉植、外交通商部长官金星焕、国防部长官金宽镇等出席会议。韩国青瓦台官员表示,朝鲜发射卫星违反了联合国相关决议,韩国政府将寻找全面的对应政策。

朝鲜12月1日宣布将于10日至22日发射第二颗“光明星3号”卫星,但朝鲜宇宙空间技术委员会发言人8日表示,由于最后准备过程中出现一系列问题,朝鲜考虑调整发射第二颗“光明星3号”卫星的时间。10日朝方表示,由于运载火箭第一级操纵发动机系统被发现存在技术缺陷,因此将卫星发射预定日期将推迟至12月29日之前。

 

 

(Note: The above is the same story reported in English and Chinese respectively, and is not literal translation.)

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