North Korea Defiantly Launches Rocket Over Japan
by Todd Beeton, Sat Apr 04, 2009 at 11:22:18 PM EDT
Remember when Joe Biden said Barack Obama would be tested early in his first term? I'd say this qualifies.
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. The satellite reached outer space in just over nine minutes and was orbiting without any problems, the state-run Korean Central News Agency said in a dispatch from Pyongyang.
The UN Security Council will hold a special session Sunday afternoon to address North Korea's actions.
President Obama issued this statement after the launch:
In a statement, Obama said the launch was "a clear violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1718, which expressly prohibits North Korea from conducting ballistic missile-related activities of any kind."
"With this provocative act, North Korea has ignored its international obligations, rejected unequivocal calls for restraint, and further isolated itself from the community of nations," Obama said. "We will immediately consult with our allies in the region, including Japan and (South Korea), and members of the U.N. Security Council to bring this matter before the Council," Obama added. "I urge North Korea to abide fully by the resolutions of the U.N. Security Council and to refrain from further provocative actions."
No doubt this will be topic one on the morning shows.