Posted: Dec 12, 2012 11:06 PM by Associated Press
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) - South Korea says that a satellite North Korea launched aboard a long-range rocket is orbiting the Earth normally but it's unknown whether it is functioning properly.
North Korea defiantly launched the rocket Wednesday and its state media quickly announced it placed an observation satellite into orbit.
Seoul and Washington condemned the launch as a cover for testing banned ballistic missile technology but they said the launch appeared to be successful.
South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok told reporters Thursday that the satellite is orbiting at a speed of 7.6 kilometers (4.7 miles) per second but it's not known what mission it is performing.
He says it takes two weeks to determine whether a satellite works successfully after liftoff.
Kim cited data from the North American Aerospace Defense Command.
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