North Korea fires long-range rocket
07 February 2016, Nirapad News: North Korea has fired a long-range rocket, which critics say is a test of banned missile technology.
The country had notified UN agencies in advance that it intended to put an earth observation satellite into orbit, reports the BBC.
It appears the rocket was fired from a base in the north-west and passed over Japan’s southern Okinawa islands.
The launch was condemned by Japan and the US, amid fears the North is developing nuclear weapons capable of reaching the US mainland.
The US, Japan and South Korea have requested an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council later on Sunday.
South Korean analysts had speculated that the North might carry out the launch ahead of 16 February, the birthday of the late North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il.
North Korea has already provoked international criticism this year with a fourth nuclear bomb test on 6 January.
The North insists its space programme is purely scientific in nature, but the US, South Korea and even ally China say the rocket launches are aimed at developing an inter-continental ballistic missile capable of striking the US.