North Korea Launches Satellite

North Korea Launches Satellite

North Korea launched a satellite this evening (February 6) Eastern Standard Time (EST).   It had notified the United Nations of its upcoming launch.

The launch, aboard an Unha-3 rocket, took place at 00:30 GMT February 7 (09:00 local time at North Korea’s Sohae Space Center), within the date range specified by North Korea in its most recent notification to the United Nations.   North Korea says the satellite, Kwongmyongsong-4, is for remote sensing of the Earth.

The North Korean Central News Agency reported that the satellite was in a 494.4 x 500 kilometer polar orbit inclined at 97.4 degrees.

U.S. Strategic Command stated that the launch was at 6:29 pm Central Standard Time and “at no time was the missile a threat to North America.”

North Korean satellite launches are widely viewed as ballistic missile tests and such launches violate two U.N. Security Council resolutions designed to dissuade them.  Secretary of State John Kerry tweeted (@JohnKerry) than the United States condemns the launch.

The last North Korean satellite launch was in 2012.

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