SEOUL, Feb. 7 (Yonhap) -- North Korea launched a long-range rocket from its northwest Dongchang-ri launch site on Sunday in defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions.
The communist country has said the launch will put an earth observation satellite into orbit, but the outside world views it as cover for testing an intercontinental ballistic missile.
The North has warned that the rocket's first stage is expected to fall in the West Sea, the fairing in the East China Sea and the second stage in the Philippine Sea.
Initially, the North proclaimed the rocket would be fired sometime between Feb. 8 and 25, but it advanced the launch window to Feb. 7-14 on Saturday.
It is the sixth long-range missile test by the North in its program to develop nuclear-loaded intercontinental ballistic missiles.
The missile fired on Sunday is believed to have a range of more than 10,000 kilometers, which could reach the mainland U.S.