x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

In a first for South Korea, satellite launched into orbit

Today's high-stakes launch comes just weeks after archrival North Korea successfully launched its own satellite to the surprise of the world.

The Korea Space Launch Vehicle (KSLV-I) takes off from its launch pad at the Naro Space Centre in Goheung on Wednesday. Yonhap / AFP
The Korea Space Launch Vehicle (KSLV-I) takes off from its launch pad at the Naro Space Centre in Goheung on Wednesday. Yonhap / AFP

SEOUL // South Korea says it has successfully launched a satellite into orbit from its own soil for the first time.

Today's high-stakes launch comes just weeks after archrival North Korea successfully launched its own satellite to the surprise of the world.

South Korean liftoffs in 2009 and 2010 failed. Two more recent launch attempts were aborted at the last minute because of technical problems.

Today's attempt came amid increased tension on the Korean Peninsula over North Korea's threat to explode its third nuclear device. Pyongyang is angry over tough new international sanctions over the Dec. 12 long-range rocket launch that delivered its satellite.