S Korea’s rocket launch successful
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South Korea said Wednesday it successfully launched a satellite into space from its own soil for the first time, a point of national pride that came weeks after archrival North Korea accomplished a similar feat to the surprise of the world.
The rocket blasted off from a launch pad in the southwestern coastal village of Goheung. Officials said the rocket delivered an observational satellite into orbit and expected to know whether the satellite is operating as intended on Thursday.
The launch is a culmination of years of efforts by South Korea to advance its space program and cement its standing as a technology powerhouse. North Korea's long-range rocket program, in contrast, generated international fears that it is getting closer to developing nuclear missiles. Pyongyang is angry over tough new international sanctions over its December 12 rocket launch.
South Korea's success comes amid increased tension on the Korean Peninsula over North Korea's threat to explode its third nuclear device.
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