Category: World / December 12, 2012 8:39 AM EST
North Korea said it successfully launched a rocket on Wednesday (December 12), in a move set to boost the credentials of its new leader and stepping up the threat the isolated and impoverished state poses to its opponents.
Footage filmed by Japanese broadcaster Fuji TV purported to show the rocket mid-flight, captured from a location the network could only identify as the 'China side of the North Korea-China border'.
The rocket, which North Korea says was designed to put a weather satellite into orbit, is viewed by the United States, South Korea and Japan as a test of technology that could one day deliver a nuclear warhead capable of hitting targets as far as the continental United States.
The North launched the rocket close to the December 17 anniversary of the death of former leader Kim Jong-il last year and as elections loom in South Korea and Japan.
North Korea is banned from conducting missile and nuclear related tests under U.N. sanctions imposed after its 2006 and 2009 nuclear tests.