South Korea launches first space rocket

The three-stage KSLV-II Nuri rocket, emblazoned with the national flag, carried a dummy satellite on its launch from the Naro Space Center at 5 p.m. (0800 GMT), video provided by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) showed.

The Nuri, or "world", rocket is designed to put 1.5-tonne payloads into orbit 600 km to 800 km (373 miles to 497 miles) above Earth, as part of a broader space effort that envisages the launch of satellites for surveillance, navigation, and communications, and even lunar probes.

Space launches have long been a sensitive issue on the Korean peninsula, where North Korea faces sanctions over its nuclear-armed ballistic missile programme.

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