North Korea carried out an apparently successful launch of its Unha-3 long-range rocket on Wednesday, defying the U.S. and its allies and potentially inviting new sanctions by violating a U.N. Security Council ban against missile launches from the impoverished Asian nation. The rocket carried a satellite, not warheads, but if North Korea did actually place the satellite in orbit, as its state media claims, Pyongyang is a big step closer to being able to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting the U.S. It would also be a big success for North Korea's young new leader, Kim Jong Un; eight months ago, an Unha-3 rocket broke apart 90 seconds after launch, in an embarrassment to the regime.
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