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North Korea Launches Long-Range Rocket Carrying Satellite, Seoul Says

North Korea launched a rocket on Monday in what appeared to be an attempt to put a military reconnaissance satellite in orbit, in defiance of United Nations Security Council ​resolutions, the South Korean military said.

Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, has made deploying a fleet of spy satellites one of his latest ​military ambitions. He has ​also focused on ​testing what he claimed were nuclear missiles ​capable of targeting the United States and its allies in the Asia-Pacific region.

North Korea ​has said it needs satellites to ​increase its ability to monitor and target its enemies and to make its nuclear deterrence more credible.

After two failed attempts, North Korea placed its first spy satellite into the or​bit last November. ​Mr. Kim has said he would launch three more satellites this year. On Monday, North Korea said it would launch the first of the three before June 4.

Hours later, the South Korean military said it detected a rocket launched from the Tongchang-ri space station in northwestern North Korea on Monday. The rocket flew over the sea between the Korean Peninsula and China, following the same southern trajectory North Korea had used in its previous satellite launches.

The South Korean military said the rocket was believed to be carrying a satellite. The country was analyzing data it collected to help determine whether the launch was a success, the military said in a statement.

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