A loud speaker announces good news in Pyongyang-- a rocket has been successfully launched into orbit. Residents danced and sang in the North Korean capital to celebrate the news. (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) PYONGYANG CITIZEN CHOE MYONG-SOK SAYING: "The successful launch of Kwangmyongsong-3 has sent a shock wave to the whole world." Shock wave indeed. Critics like South Korea see the launch as a menacing step forward for the country in it's goal to build an intercontinental ballistic missile. South Korea's Foreign Minister Kim Sung-Hwan. (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) SOUTH KOREAN FOREIGN MINISTER KIM SUNG-HWAN SAYING: "North Korea ignored repeated warnings and demands by the international community that North Korea should withdraw the rocket launch. Our government along with the international community strongly denounces it." In Okinawa, Japan interceptor missiles stood at the ready to shoot down any debris - but they were not activated even though the rocket appeared to fly over the island. Ministry officials there also condemned the act and have called for an emergency meeting at the United Nations Security Council. China, North Korea's only ally, says the country does have the right to conduct peaceful space exploration but it should suspend all activities related to ballistic missile programmes. China is expected to veto any additional sanctions proposed by the UN security council.
Dec. 12 - North Korea successfully launches a rocket into orbit. Julie Noce reports. ( Transcript )
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