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N. Korea launches long-range rocket: official
SEOUL, April 13 (Yonhap) -- North Korea defiantly fired off a long-range rocket Friday, an official said, in a move sure to spark strong international condemnations and escalate regional tensions.

   "We're now tracking the flight path," the official said on condition of anonymity.

   The North has said it will launch its Unha-3 rocket between April 12-16 to put what it claims is a satellite into orbit to mark the 100th birthday of Kim Il-sung, the country's late founder and grandfather of current leader Kim Jong-un.

   But South Korea, the United States and other regional powers have urged Pyongyang to call off the launch, seeing it as a pretext to disguise a long-range missile test banned under a U.N. Security Council resolution.

   jschang@yna.co.kr
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