Pyongyang announces successful satellite launch

Pyongyang, Feb 7 (IANS) North Korea on Sunday successfully launched a Kwangmyongsong-4 satellite, the Korean Central Television (KCTV) reported.

The earth observation satellite blasted off at 9.00 a.m. (local time) from the Sohae Space Centre in Cholsan county, North Phyongan province, and later entered the target orbit, Xinhua reported.

North Korea’s top leader Kim Jong Un signed the order to launch the satellite on Saturday and the KCTV disclosed photos of his signature.

The satellite is going round the polar orbit at 494.6 km perigee altitude and 500 km apogee altitude at a 97.4-degree angle of inclination, with a cycle of 94 minutes and 24 seconds, said a statement issued by National Aerospace Development Administration (NADA) of North Korea.

The successful launch marks “an epochal event” in developing the country’s science, technology, economy and defence capability by “legitimately exercising the right to use space for independent and peaceful purposes,” the statement said.

The launch came only nine days ahead of the “Day of the Shining Star,” the birthday of North Korea’s late leader Kim Jong Il, and is seen as part of the events to celebrate the anniversary.

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