North Korea launched a long-range rocket over Japan on April 5, 2009. (KRT TV/Associated Press)
North Korea, in a surprise announcement on March 16, 2012, said it planned to launch a satellite into space on the back of a long-range rocket in April. The rocket launched on April 12th.
The U.S., South Korea and other critics say the rocket technology overlaps with belligerent uses and they condemn the satellite program as a disguised way of testing military missiles in defiance of a U.N. ban. - AP