North Korea has launched a long-range rocket over Japan, drawing strong international condemnation and prompting an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council.
US President Barack Obama said the regime of Kim Jong-il had violated UN resolutions and urged the country to refrain from any further “provocative actions.” Neighbours South Korea called the launch a “reckless” act. The Japanese stopped monitoring the Taepodong-2 rocket after it passed 2,100 kilometers east of Tokoyo indicating that the launch went off without a hitch. In its only previous test flight in 2006 the rocket exploded after only 40 seconds in the air. The rocket shed its first booster into the Sea of Japan off the country’s northern coastline the second fell into the Pacific. North Korea claimed it was putting a satellite into orbit as part of a peaceful space programme and threatened war if the rocket was intercepted.