Global anger as North Korea fires long-range rocket
SEOUL (AFP) - North Korea launched a long-range rocket Wednesday days before its young ruler marks 12 months in power, intensifying the threat posed by the nuclear-armed state and provoking global condemnation.
The United States and its allies were infuriated and even China expressed "regret" at the successful launch by its wayward communist ally - while also calling on all sides to avoid "stoking the flames".
The launch triggered plans for an emergency session of the UN Security Council, which has imposed round after round of sanctions against North Korea over its ballistic missile and nuclear programmes, to little avail.
North Korea insisted the mission was not a banned inter-continental missile test but was designed to place a scientific satellite in orbit, and said it had achieved all its objectives.