Tokyo, Nov 21 (AP) North Korea has launched a rocket in what would have been its third attempt to send a spy satellite into orbit. South Korean army gave this information.
Seoul said a rocket was launched late Tuesday but further details were not immediately available.
Earlier, North Korea had informed Japan that it would launch a satellite in the coming days in violation of UN resolutions.
North Korea is very keen on launching a spy satellite in response to increasing ‘military threats’ from the US. But its two previous attempts to place the spy satellite in orbit had failed due to technical problems.
Japan’s coast guard said North Korea has informed Tokyo of its plan to launch a satellite sometime between Wednesday and Nov. 30.
According to the message given by North Korea, three areas have been identified in the sea where debris from the rocket carrying the satellite could have fallen. Japanese Coast Guard spokesman Kazuo Ogawa said two areas had been identified between the Korean Peninsula and China and one in the Philippine Sea.
Ogawa said the same areas were identified during earlier launch attempts in May and August. In such a situation, it is believed that the same flight path has been decided for the third attempt also.
North Korea informed Japan of the launch because the Japanese Coast Guard coordinates and exchanges maritime security information in East Asia.
North Korea’s notification came a day after rival South Korea warned it to cancel its launch or face consequences.
The United Nations Security Council believes that North Korea is testing missile technology under the guise of launching a satellite, that is why its resolution has banned the launch of any satellite by North Korea.
North Korea says it needs a space-based surveillance system to keep an eye on its rivals.