North Korean launches rocket, claims to be communications satellite

From NBC12 News

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - South Korea and the U.S. military say there's no North Korean satellite orbiting the earth as claimed by Pyongyang.

South Korea's defense minister says all three sections of the North Korean rocket fell into the sea after launch this morning.

And a statement from the North American Aerospace Defense Command and the U.S. Northern Command says "no object entered orbit."

But North Korean state-run media says the satellite was transmitting data and patriotic odes to leader Kim Jong Il and founder Kim Il Sung.

The Korean Central News Agency says the satellite reached outer space in just over nine minutes.

North Korea says the launch was a peaceful bid to develop its space program. But the U.S., South Korea, Japan and others suspect the launch was a guise for testing the regime's long-range missile technology.

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