February 2016 – NORTH KOREA – U.S. officials say North Korea has successfully launched a long-range missile, apparently into space, and condemned the move as another provocation from the country. But the missile did not pose a threat to the United States or its allies, officials said. “At no time was the missile or the resultant debris a threat to the United States or its allies,” said a statement from U.S. Pacific Command. According to a US official, the missile was launched from western North Korea at 7:29 PM ET in a trajectory that took it over the Yellow Sea. The Japanese government said that the missile had traveled 2,000 km south and parts had landed in the South China Sea.
A U.S. official said it appeared that the missile’s third stage had entered space. The successful entry of the third stage into space would be of major concern to U.S. officials who have said that the North Korean “satellite launch” was really a cover for a test of its intercontinental ballistic missile technology. “North Korea’s launch using ballistic missile technology, following so closely after its January 6 nuclear test, represents yet another destabilizing and provocative action and is a flagrant violation of multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions,” said Susan Rice, National Security Adviser in a statement issued after Saturday night’s launch.
“We condemn today’s launch and North Korea’s determination to prioritize its missile and nuclear weapons programs over the well-being of its people, whose struggles only intensify with North Korea’s diversion of scarce resources to such destabilizing activities,” she added. The UN Security Council will meet in an emergency session on Sunday to discuss the North Korean missile launch. “We will continue to work with our partners and members of the UN Security Council on significant measures to hold the DPRK to account,” said Secretary of State John Kerry in a statement. In January, North Korea conducted an underground nuclear test that it claimed was a hydrogen bomb, though the United States said analysis showed that was not the case. –ABC News