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Satellite launch successful: North Korea

world Updated: Apr 05, 2009 16:26 IST
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North Korea on Sunday successfully launched a long-range rocket mounted with a communications satellite, the official KCNA news agency said.

The 'Kwangmyongsong-2' satellite was sent into the orbit at 11.29.02 a.m. local time, by an 'Unha-2' rocket fired from the East Sea Launch Ground, located on the east coast of North Korea, the report said.

The satellite entered the orbit with "perigee 490 km, apogee 1426 km, dip 40.6 degree", the report said, adding that its revolution period was 104 minutes and 12 seconds.

Japan, South Korea and Washington believe the launch was a screen to test a ballistic missile.

North Korea failed to put satellite into orbit: US military

The US military on Sunday disputed North Korea's claim that it had launched a sattelite into space, saying "the payload itself landed in the Pacific Ocean." "Stage one of the missile fell into the Sea of Japan," the North American Aerospace Defense Command and US Northern Command said in their brief account of the North Korean rocket launch. "The remaining stages along with the payload itself landed in the Pacific Ocean," the commands said. "No object entered orbit and no debris fell on Japan." The statement came after North Korea said its satellite was "rotating normally in its orbit" and transmitting "immortal revolutionary songs" in praise of the communist state's current and former leaders.