At a time when most of the world was led to believe that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) was experiencing unknown technical problems with a three-stage Uhna-3 rocket scheduled to be launched between 10 and 29 December, Pyongyang fired the rocket at 9:49 AM Japan Standard Time (JST) on 12 December.
North Korea launched its long-range Unha-3 rocket today, Friday the 13th but the launch seems to have failed shortly after lift-off. No launch confirmation has been provided by North Korea yet. First reports say that an abnormally large “flare” was identified shortly after separation of the rocket’s first stage and the remaining portions of the rocket crashed somewhere in the sea.
North Korea’s new Unha-3 is now assembled on its launch platform in preparation for a highly controversial satellite launch later this week. And for the first time, the secretive North has granted a select group of international observers an extraordinary opportunity to view the rocket and witness the launch.
The satellite being launched is named Kwangmyongsong-3, translated to mean “Bright Star” and will be mounted atop an Unha-3 rocket. Such a launch would be considered in direct violation of a UN Security Council resolution prohibiting North Korean long-range ballistic rocket launches
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