Angry protests have erupted on the streets of South Korea after Sunday’s launch of a long range rocket by North Korea.
Many of those demonstrating expressed doubts echoed worldwide as to the nature of the launch. While it is feared Pyongyang was testing missile technology, North Korea claims it was sending a satellite into space. The first part of the missile landed in the sea of Japan and the rest flew over Japan falling into the Pacific Ocean. A video is said to show the discoloured patch of sea caused by the impact of the first stage of the rocket. Successful or not, the launch is a bold act of defiance. Military officials have pointed out that other North Korean missiles have never travelled so far. While there may have not been a satellite onboard, the launch is a political victory for the North’s leader Kim Jong Il who went to watch the rocket take off. It has certainly rattled international nerves. Japan and the US are leading calls for a strong response from the UN Security Council – but China and Russia are calling for restraint.