North Korea lauches missle
North Korea launched a rocket Sunday, despite intense pressure from other countries to stop the launch since it announced the plans a few weeks ago.
Thought by some countries to be a cover for a long-range missile test, North Korea launched a rocket sending its satellite "Kwangmyongsong-2" into orbit, ignoring international warnings, according to the Associated Press.
North Korea claimed to have successfully launched its satellite into orbit, but according to AP the U.S. and South Korea say nothing reached orbit on Sunday.
The U.S., South Korea, Japan and other countries have accused North Korea of using this launch to test the delivery system of a long-range missile which could eventually be able to shoot nuclear missiles as far as Alaska.
South Korean and U.S. governments told AP the liftoff took place at Musudan-ri launch pad in North Korea. The rocket reached Japanese airspace in seven minutes, but the warships from Japan, the U.S., and South Korea did not shoot anything down because no debris hit Japan, officials in Tokyo told AP.
North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command officials told AP that the first stage of the rocket landed in the ocean between Korea and Japan, and the other two stages along with the satellite landed in the Pacific Ocean.
Japan's U.N. mission requested a meeting of the 15-nation Security Council because it believed the launch violates Resolution 1718, which is part of the effort to force North Korea to end ballistic missile-related activities, spokesman Yukata Arima told AP. The meeting will be at 3 p.m. EDT, according to Mexican spokesman Marco Morales.
According to the AP, the talks involving China, Japan, Russia, North and South Korea, and the United States had made limited progress in stopping North Korea's activities, and part of those talks involved the Bush administration removing North Korea from a terrorism blacklist. Some lawmakers wanted North Korea to be placed back on that list because of the missle launch, but Obama aides told AP no decision had been made.
"Now is the time for a strong international response, and North Korea must know that the path to security and respect will never come through threats and illegal weapons," Obama said in a speech on nuclear proliferation in the Czech Republic. "All nations must come together to build a stronger, global regime ... we must stand shoulder to shoulder to pressure the North Koreans to change course."