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Seoul: North Korea fires rocket seen as covert missile test

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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea says North Korea has launched a long-range rocket that critics say is meant to test banned technology for a missile that could strike the U.S. mainland.

The launch Sunday follows North Korea’s claim last month to have tested a hydrogen bomb and will likely draw more sanctions and condemnation in the United Nations.

Outside analysts see North Korean missile and nuclear tests as crucial steps toward the North’s ultimate goal of a nuclear armed missile arsenal.

North Korea says this is a peaceful satellite launch.