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North Korea hails 'ground-breaking' long-range rocket launch

Published on Dec 12, 2012 3:33 PM
A South Korean man walks past a television report on North Korea's rocket launch, at Seoul railway station in Seoul Dec 12, 2012. North Korea successfully launched a rocket on Wednesday, boosting the credentials of its new leader and stepping up the threat the isolated and impoverished state poses to its opponents. --PHOTO: REUTERS 

SEOUL (AFP) - North Korea hailed its successful long-range rocket launch on Wednesday as a "ground-breaking" event that paid tribute to former leader Kim Jong Il a year after his death.

"The successful launch... is a ground-breaking event in developing the country's scientific technologies and economy by exercising our rights for the peaceful use of space," the Korean Central News Agency said.

"Our technicians and scientists successfully sent the.... satellite into orbit by holding the teachings of the great leader Kim Jong Il in high esteem," it added.