SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – In a special announcement read on state-run North Korean TV, the announcer says the country has put a satellite into orbit on a successful rocket launch. The announcer says North Korea will launch more satellites.
The North’s special announcement says the launch was ordered by leader Kim Jong Un.
Critics say the launch of the long-range rocket is meant to test banned technology for a missile that could strike the U.S. mainland.
The launch Sunday follows North Korea’s claim last month to have tested a hydrogen bomb and will likely draw more sanctions and condemnation in the United Nations.
Japan has sent a strong protest to North Korea through their respective embassies in Beijing following North Korea’s rocket launch. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says the launch violated existing U.N. resolutions on Pyongyang’s use of ballistic missile technology.
China, North Korea’s main ally, has expressed regret at Pyongyang’s rocket launch.
A spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has deplored North Korea’s rocket launch, which he says is in violation of Security Council resolutions against Pyongyang’s use of ballistic missile technology.
The U.N. Security Council has scheduled an emergency meeting Sunday at 11 a.m. EST on the North Korean launch. The U.S., which confirmed the meeting, requested council members to meet along with Japan.