- uploaded: Apr 5, 2009
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SEOUL, South Korea North Korea fired a rocket over Japan on Sunday, defying Washington, Tokyo and others who suspect the launch was cover for a test of its long-range missile technology. President Barack Obama warned the move would further isolate the communist nation.
Liftoff took place at 11:30 a.m. (0230 GMT) from the coastal Musudan-ri launch pad in northeastern North Korea, the South Korean and U.S. governments said. The multistage rocket hurtled toward the Pacific, reaching Japanese airspace within seven minutes, but no debris appeared to hit its territory, officials in Tokyo said.
Four hours after the launch, North Korea declared it a success. An experimental communications satellite reached outer space in just over nine minutes and is orbiting, the state-run Korean Central News Agency said in a dispatch from Pyongyang.
"The satellite is transmitting the melodies 'Song of Gen. Kim Il Sung' and 'Song of Gen. Kim Jong Il' as well as measurement data back to Earth," it said, referring to the country's late founder and his son, its current leader.