Published December 11, 2012
SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea says North Korea has fired a long-range rocket in a defiant move just days ahead of South Korea's presidential election.
It was the second rocket launch under leader Kim Jong Un. Kim took power following his father Kim Jong Il's death one year ago.
It wasn't immediately clear if the rocket launch Wednesday morning succeeded. A similar launch in April broke apart shortly after liftoff.
Officials at South Korea's Defense Ministry and its Joint Chiefs of Staff who confirmed the launch spoke anonymously because of department rules.
The United Nations, Washington, Seoul and others condemned Pyongyang for the launches. Washington calls them a cover to test technology for missiles that could be used to strike the United States.
North Korea says its putting a monitoring satellite into orbit.
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