A defiant North Korea on Sunday fired a long-range rocket, drawing strong rebuke from its neighbours and the US, which believed the launch was a cover for testing Pyongyang's missile technology.
The rocket was fired from a launch pad on North Korea's east coast 15 seconds past 11:30 am local time (0800 hrs IST plus 15 seconds), South Korea's presidential office said while expressing strong regret over Pyongyang's "reckless action."
Reacting to the launch, US President Barack Obama, who is in Prague, called it a "provocative" act amounting to a test of Taepodong-2 missile and sought a UN Security Council meet.
"The launch today of a Taepodong-2 missile was a clear violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1718, which prohibits North Korea from conducting ballistic missile-related activities of any kind," Obama said in a statement issued from the Czech capital Prague.
Image: A man and a woman read a newspaper's extra edition following the North Korean rocket launch.
Text: PTI | Photograph: Yuriko Nakao/Reuters