North Korea launches long-range missile

Monday, February 8, 2016

The South Korean defense ministry said North Korea launched a long-range missile yesterday.

North Korea had announced a plan to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for a terrestrial observation satellite launch between February 8 and 25. North Korean state media reported the satellite launch was successful and was ordered by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un with more plans to launch satellites.

The launch occurred at 09:31am local time (0031 UTC) and was detected by a South Korean warship, according to ministry spokesman Moon Sang Gyun. Nations including Japan and South Korea considered the launch a disguised ballistic missile test. Japan, South Korea, and the United States condemned the launch and called for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council to be held in New York yesterday at 11:00am local time (1600 UTC).

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe called the launch "unacceptable" and said, "We will take action to totally protect the safety and well-being of our people". South Korean President Park Geun-hye also called the launch "unacceptable" and a "challenge to world peace". Japanese public broadcaster NHK said the rocket passed in Japanese airspace over Okinawa without provoking use of anti-ballistic missiles.

North Korea claimed in January to have successfully tested a hydrogen bomb.