PYONGYANG: (South News) Sept 4 -- North Korea successfully launched its first satellite aboard a multistage rocket into orbit and was now transmitting "the melody of the immortal revolutionary hymns" KCNA said today.
The three stage rocket was launched in the direction of 86 degrees at a launching station in Musudan-ri, Hwadae County, North Hamgyong Province at 12:07 August 31, 1998. The satellite is broadcasting "Songs of General Kim Il Sung" and Songs of General Kim Jong Il" and morse code of "Juche Korea" in 21 MHz band.
The launch put the satellite into orbit at 12 hours 11 minutes 53 seconds in four minutes 53 seconds. running along the oval orbit 218. 82 km in the nearest distance from the earth and 6,978 km in the farthest distance. Its period is 165 minutes 6 seconds.
Japan reacted angrily to the August 31 news, suspending food aid to the reclusive, impoverished state and breaking off diplomatic talks. Tokyo has said it has the right to strike back if attacked by missiles. KCNA laughed at Japanese statements that North Korea fired a ballistic missile over its territory.
"Although they have no information on what happened, the Japanese authorities, blindly accepting rumors about the ballistic missile launching test in the DPRK, are threatening that they will bring this issue to the United Nations Security Council and that they will take countermeasures," KCNA said. Moscow's Tass news agency confirmed the satellite launch and has speculated that North Korea plans to conduct its second on Wednesday, 10 days after a reported first launch.
KCNA said the first stage was separated from the rocket 95 seconds after the launch and fell on the open waters of the East Sea of Korea 253 KM of the launching station, " 40 degrees 51 minutes north latitude 132 degrees 40 minutes east longitude."
It said the " second stage opened the capsule in 144 seconds, separated itself from the rocket in 266 seconds and fell in the open waters of the pacific 1,646 km off from the launching station, that is 40 degrees 13 minutes north latitude 149 degrees 07 minutes east longitude".and "The third stage put the satellite into orbit 27 seconds after the separation of the second stage".
KCNA said the satellite is equipped with necessary sounding instrument and "will contribute to promoting scientific research for peaceful use of outer space" and "are a fruition of our wisdom and technology 100 percent."
KCNA quoted a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry saying, "We have never criticized the United States and Japan for having launched artificial satellites. We are well aware that these satellites have been used for espionage on our countr.
"For our country to have an artificial satellite, therefore, is an only too natural exercise of sovereignty" but warned that "whether this capacity will be used for a military purpose or not, entirely depends on the attitude of forces hostile towards us."
"Japan must be aware that an attempt to enact a law for involvement in belligerent to relations between the DPRK and the U.S. is tantamount to a declaration of war against the DPRK.",the statement said.
The satellite launch came just before the 10th Supreme People's Assembly of the DPRK.