La Corea del Nord ha appena lanciato il suo secondo missile a lungo raggio del 2012.
Il lancio avviene in vicinanza del primo anniversario della morte del “caro leader” Kim Jong-il e all’avvicinarsi delle elezioni in Giappone e Corea del Sud.
Il lancio annunciato dai media sudcoreani, è stato confermato dal ministero della difesa di Seul.
Pyongyang afferma il lancio sia parte di un programma di missili per il lancio di satelliti, il timore dei suoi nemici è che siano invece test per missili a lunga gittata per testate nucleari.
Japan and South Korea put their armed forces on alert prior to the launch. The rocket is scheduled to pass between the Korean peninsula and China, with a second stage splashing down off the Philippines before launching the satellite into orbit.
Most political analysts believe the launch is designed to bolster the credentials of new leader Kim Jong-un as he cements his rule over the country of 22 million people.
A government official in Seoul said recently that the transition of power to Kim Jong-un did not appear to be going as smoothly as anticipated and there were signs that the regime was concerned over the possibility of rising dissent.
Kim is the third of his line to rule North Korea, whose national output is around one-fortieth of that of prosperous South Korea.
Plans for the launch has drawn criticism from South Korea, Russia, Japan and the United States as well as NATO and the United Nations.
The North’s only major diplomatic ally, China, has expressed “deep concern” over the launch but is thought unlikely to back any further sanctions against its ally.