NKoreans celebrate launch of long-range rocket
PYONGYANG, North Korea — North Koreans danced in the streets of their capital Wednesday after the Pyongyang regime successfully fired a long-range rocket, defying international warnings and taking a big step forward in its quest to develop a nuclear-tipped missile.
The rocket launch will enhance the credentials of 20-something leader Kim Jong Un at home a year after he took power following the death of his father Kim Jong Il. It is also likely to bring fresh sanctions and other punishments from the U.S. and its allies, which were quick to condemn the launch as a test of technology for a missile that could attack the U.S. mainland. Pyongyang says it was merely a peaceful effort to put a satellite into orbit.
The White House called it a "highly provocative act that threatens regional security."
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