South Korea: North Korea’s satellite orbiting normally

The U.N. imposed two rounds of sanctions following nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009 and ordered the North not to conduct any launches using ballistic missile technology. Pyongyang maintains its right to develop a civilian space program, saying the satellite will send back crucial scientific data.

Pyongyang is thought to have a handful of rudimentary nuclear bombs, but experts believe the North lacks the ability to make a warhead small enough to mount on a missile that could threaten the United States.

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Associated Press writers Kim Kwang Hyon and Jon Chol Jin in Pyongyang, North Korea; Foster Klug, Hyung-jin Kim and Sam Kim in Seoul, South Korea contributed to this report.

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