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It is third time lucky for South Korea where a rocket has been successfully launched after two previous failures. In addition, the launch was also called off at the last minute twice last year, due to technical problems.

Named Naro, the rocket is carrying a satellite to collect climate data – the first South Korean satellite to be sent into space from inside the country.

“Five hundred and forty seconds after the launch of Naro at 4 o’clock this afternoon, the scientific satellite successfully separated from the rocket. Based on various analysis reports, I officially announce the launch as successful – placing the scientific satellite into the proper orbit,” South Korea’s Minister for Education, Science and Technology Lee Ju-Ho said at a press conference.

Timing could be key. The launch comes just over a month after neighbouring North Korea successfully sent its own satellite into – causing tension in the region, allegations of long-range missile testing and more UN sanctions against Pyongyang.

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