S Korea launches satellite into orbit

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iol pic wld South Korea Rocket Launch~3 AP South Korea's first rocket takes off from a launch pad at the Naro Space Centre in Goheung, South Korea.

Seoul, South Korea -

South Korea says it has successfully launched a satellite into orbit from its own soil for the first time.

Wednesday's high-stakes launch comes just weeks after arch-rival North Korea successfully launched its own satellite to the surprise of the world.

South Korean liftoffs in 2009 and 2010 failed. Two more recent launch attempts were aborted at the last minute because of technical problems.

Wednesday's attempt came amid increased tension on the Korean Peninsula over North Korea's threat to explode its third nuclear device. Pyongyang is angry over tough new international sanctions over the December 12 long-range rocket launch that delivered its satellite. - Sapa-AP


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