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Pictures | Wed Dec 12, 2012 | 2:01pm EST

North Korea rocket launch raises nuclear stakes

A screen shows a rocket being launched from a launch pad at the West Sea Satellite Launch Site, at North Korea's satellite control centre in Cholsan county, North Pyongan province, in this photo released by Kyodo December 12, 2012. North Korea successfully launched a rocket on Wednesday, boosting the credentials of its new leader and stepping up the threat the isolated and impoverished state poses to opponents. REUTERS/Kyodo

A screen shows a rocket being launched from a launch pad at the West Sea Satellite Launch Site, at North Korea's satellite control centre in Cholsan county, North Pyongan province, in this photo released by Kyodo December 12, 2012. North Korea...more

A screen shows a rocket being launched from a launch pad at the West Sea Satellite Launch Site, at North Korea's satellite control centre in Cholsan county, North Pyongan province, in this photo released by Kyodo December 12, 2012. North Korea successfully launched a rocket on Wednesday, boosting the credentials of its new leader and stepping up the threat the isolated and impoverished state poses to opponents. REUTERS/Kyodo
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A screen shows the Unha-3 (Milky Way 3) rocket being launched from a launch pad at the North Korea's West Sea Satellite Launch Site, at satellite control centre in Cholsan county, North Pyongan province in this picture released by the official KCNA news agency in Pyongyang December 12, 2012. REUTERS/KCNA

A screen shows the Unha-3 (Milky Way 3) rocket being launched from a launch pad at the North Korea's West Sea Satellite Launch Site, at satellite control centre in Cholsan county, North Pyongan province in this picture released by the official KCNA...more

A screen shows the Unha-3 (Milky Way 3) rocket being launched from a launch pad at the North Korea's West Sea Satellite Launch Site, at satellite control centre in Cholsan county, North Pyongan province in this picture released by the official KCNA news agency in Pyongyang December 12, 2012. REUTERS/KCNA
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A screen shows a rocket being launched from an onboard camera at the West Sea Satellite Launch Site, at North Korea's satellite control centre in Cholsan county, North Pyongan province, in this photo released by Kyodo December 12, 2012. REUTERS/Kyodo

A screen shows a rocket being launched from an onboard camera at the West Sea Satellite Launch Site, at North Korea's satellite control centre in Cholsan county, North Pyongan province, in this photo released by Kyodo December 12, 2012. REUTERS/Kyodo

A screen shows a rocket being launched from an onboard camera at the West Sea Satellite Launch Site, at North Korea's satellite control centre in Cholsan county, North Pyongan province, in this photo released by Kyodo December 12, 2012. REUTERS/Kyodo
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A screen shows the Unha-3 (Milky Way 3) rocket being launched from a launch pad at the North Korea's West Sea Satellite Launch Site, at the satellite control centre in Cholsan county, North Pyongan province in this picture released by the official KCNA news agency in Pyongyang December 12, 2012. REUTERS/KCNA

A screen shows the Unha-3 (Milky Way 3) rocket being launched from a launch pad at the North Korea's West Sea Satellite Launch Site, at the satellite control centre in Cholsan county, North Pyongan province in this picture released by the official...more

A screen shows the Unha-3 (Milky Way 3) rocket being launched from a launch pad at the North Korea's West Sea Satellite Launch Site, at the satellite control centre in Cholsan county, North Pyongan province in this picture released by the official KCNA news agency in Pyongyang December 12, 2012. REUTERS/KCNA
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A South Korean soldier watches a television report on North Korea's rocket launch, at Seoul railroad station in Seoul December 12, 2012. North Korea successfully launched a rocket on Wednesday, boosting the credentials of its new leader and stepping up the threat the isolated and impoverished state poses to its opponents. The rocket, which North Korea says was designed to put a weather satellite into orbit, has been labelled 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 the United States. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won

A South Korean soldier watches a television report on North Korea's rocket launch, at Seoul railroad station in Seoul December 12, 2012. North Korea successfully launched a rocket on Wednesday, boosting the credentials of its new leader and stepping...more

A South Korean soldier watches a television report on North Korea's rocket launch, at Seoul railroad station in Seoul December 12, 2012. North Korea successfully launched a rocket on Wednesday, boosting the credentials of its new leader and stepping up the threat the isolated and impoverished state poses to its opponents. The rocket, which North Korea says was designed to put a weather satellite into orbit, has been labelled 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 the United States. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won
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North Korean scientists work as a screen shows the Unha-3 (Milky Way 3) rocket being launched from a launch pad at the West Sea Satellite Launch Site, at the satellite control centre in Cholsan county, North Pyongan province in this picture released by the North's official KCNA news agency in Pyongyang December 12, 2012. REUTERS/KCNA

North Korean scientists work as a screen shows the Unha-3 (Milky Way 3) rocket being launched from a launch pad at the West Sea Satellite Launch Site, at the satellite control centre in Cholsan county, North Pyongan province in this picture released...more

North Korean scientists work as a screen shows the Unha-3 (Milky Way 3) rocket being launched from a launch pad at the West Sea Satellite Launch Site, at the satellite control centre in Cholsan county, North Pyongan province in this picture released by the North's official KCNA news agency in Pyongyang December 12, 2012. REUTERS/KCNA
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North Korean military band performs to celebrate their country's rocket launch in front of a triumphal gateway in Pyongyang, in this photo taken by Kyodo December 12, 2012. REUTERS/Kyodo

North Korean military band performs to celebrate their country's rocket launch in front of a triumphal gateway in Pyongyang, in this photo taken by Kyodo December 12, 2012. REUTERS/Kyodo

North Korean military band performs to celebrate their country's rocket launch in front of a triumphal gateway in Pyongyang, in this photo taken by Kyodo December 12, 2012. REUTERS/Kyodo
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North Koreans dance to celebrate their country's rocket lauch in Pyongyang, in this photo taken by Kyodo December 12, 2012. REUTERS/Kyodo

North Koreans dance to celebrate their country's rocket lauch in Pyongyang, in this photo taken by Kyodo December 12, 2012. REUTERS/Kyodo

North Koreans dance to celebrate their country's rocket lauch in Pyongyang, in this photo taken by Kyodo December 12, 2012. REUTERS/Kyodo
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North Korean military band performs to celebrate their country's rocket launch in front of a triumphal gateway in Pyongyang, in this photo taken by Kyodo December 12, 2012. REUTERS/Kyodo

North Korean military band performs to celebrate their country's rocket launch in front of a triumphal gateway in Pyongyang, in this photo taken by Kyodo December 12, 2012. REUTERS/Kyodo

North Korean military band performs to celebrate their country's rocket launch in front of a triumphal gateway in Pyongyang, in this photo taken by Kyodo December 12, 2012. REUTERS/Kyodo
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South Korean President Lee Myung-bak (C) presides over an emergency meeting of the National Security Council after North Korea launched a rocket, at the Blue House in Seoul December 12, 2012. North Korea successfully launched a rocket on Wednesday, boosting the credentials of its new leader and stepping up the threat the isolated and impoverished state poses to its opponents. REUTERS/The Blue House/Handout

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak (C) presides over an emergency meeting of the National Security Council after North Korea launched a rocket, at the Blue House in Seoul December 12, 2012. North Korea successfully launched a rocket on Wednesday,...more

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak (C) presides over an emergency meeting of the National Security Council after North Korea launched a rocket, at the Blue House in Seoul December 12, 2012. North Korea successfully launched a rocket on Wednesday, boosting the credentials of its new leader and stepping up the threat the isolated and impoverished state poses to its opponents. REUTERS/The Blue House/Handout
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South Koreans watching a television report on North Korea's rocket launch are reflected in a TV screen at Seoul railway station in Seoul December 12, 2012. North Korea successfully launched a rocket on Wednesday, boosting the credentials of its new leader and stepping up the threat the isolated and impoverished state poses to its opponents. The rocket, which North Korea says was designed to put a weather satellite into orbit, has been labelled 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 the United States. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won

South Koreans watching a television report on North Korea's rocket launch are reflected in a TV screen at Seoul railway station in Seoul December 12, 2012. North Korea successfully launched a rocket on Wednesday, boosting the credentials of its new...more

South Koreans watching a television report on North Korea's rocket launch are reflected in a TV screen at Seoul railway station in Seoul December 12, 2012. North Korea successfully launched a rocket on Wednesday, boosting the credentials of its new leader and stepping up the threat the isolated and impoverished state poses to its opponents. The rocket, which North Korea says was designed to put a weather satellite into orbit, has been labelled 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 the United States. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won
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A South Korean soldier watches a television report on North Korea's rocket launch at Seoul railway station in Seoul December 12, 2012. North Korea successfully launched a rocket on Wednesday, boosting the credentials of its new leader and stepping up the threat the isolated and impoverished state poses to its opponents. The rocket, which North Korea says was designed to put a weather satellite into orbit, has been labelled 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 the United States. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won

A South Korean soldier watches a television report on North Korea's rocket launch at Seoul railway station in Seoul December 12, 2012. North Korea successfully launched a rocket on Wednesday, boosting the credentials of its new leader and stepping up...more

A South Korean soldier watches a television report on North Korea's rocket launch at Seoul railway station in Seoul December 12, 2012. North Korea successfully launched a rocket on Wednesday, boosting the credentials of its new leader and stepping up the threat the isolated and impoverished state poses to its opponents. The rocket, which North Korea says was designed to put a weather satellite into orbit, has been labelled 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 the United States. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won
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The Sohae Launch Facility in North Korea in seen in this November 23, 2012 satellite image courtesy of DigitalGlobe. North Korea launched a rocket on Wednesday and the missile appears to have passed over Okinawa, Japan's government said. REUTERS/DigitalGlobe/Handout

The Sohae Launch Facility in North Korea in seen in this November 23, 2012 satellite image courtesy of DigitalGlobe. North Korea launched a rocket on Wednesday and the missile appears to have passed over Okinawa, Japan's government said....more

The Sohae Launch Facility in North Korea in seen in this November 23, 2012 satellite image courtesy of DigitalGlobe. North Korea launched a rocket on Wednesday and the missile appears to have passed over Okinawa, Japan's government said. REUTERS/DigitalGlobe/Handout
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The Sohae Launch Facility in North Korea in seen in this November 23, 2012 satellite image courtesy of DigitalGlobe. North Korea launched a rocket on Wednesday and the missile appears to have passed over Okinawa, Japan's government said. REUTERS/DigitalGlobe/Handout

The Sohae Launch Facility in North Korea in seen in this November 23, 2012 satellite image courtesy of DigitalGlobe. North Korea launched a rocket on Wednesday and the missile appears to have passed over Okinawa, Japan's government said....more

The Sohae Launch Facility in North Korea in seen in this November 23, 2012 satellite image courtesy of DigitalGlobe. North Korea launched a rocket on Wednesday and the missile appears to have passed over Okinawa, Japan's government said. REUTERS/DigitalGlobe/Handout
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A member of the Japan Self-Defence Forces runs toward a Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missiles unit in Ishigaki on Japan's southern island of Ishigaki Island, Okinawa prefecture, in this photo taken by Kyodo December 12, 2012. Isolated and impoverished North Korea launched its second long- range rocket of 2012 on Wednesday and may have finally succeeded in putting a satellite into space, the stated aim of what critics say is a disguised ballistic missile test. REUTERS/Kyodo

A member of the Japan Self-Defence Forces runs toward a Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missiles unit in Ishigaki on Japan's southern island of Ishigaki Island, Okinawa prefecture, in this photo taken by Kyodo December 12, 2012. Isolated and...more

A member of the Japan Self-Defence Forces runs toward a Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missiles unit in Ishigaki on Japan's southern island of Ishigaki Island, Okinawa prefecture, in this photo taken by Kyodo December 12, 2012. Isolated and impoverished North Korea launched its second long- range rocket of 2012 on Wednesday and may have finally succeeded in putting a satellite into space, the stated aim of what critics say is a disguised ballistic missile test. REUTERS/Kyodo
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A helicopter of the Japan Self-Defence Forces takes off after North Korea launched a rocket, in Ishigaki on Japan's southern island of Ishigaki Island, Okinawa prefecture, in this photo taken by Kyodo December 12, 2012. Isolated and impoverished North Korea launched its second long- range rocket of 2012 on Wednesday and may have finally succeeded in putting a satellite into space, the stated aim of what critics say is a disguised ballistic missile test. REUTERS/Kyodo

A helicopter of the Japan Self-Defence Forces takes off after North Korea launched a rocket, in Ishigaki on Japan's southern island of Ishigaki Island, Okinawa prefecture, in this photo taken by Kyodo December 12, 2012. Isolated and impoverished...more

A helicopter of the Japan Self-Defence Forces takes off after North Korea launched a rocket, in Ishigaki on Japan's southern island of Ishigaki Island, Okinawa prefecture, in this photo taken by Kyodo December 12, 2012. Isolated and impoverished North Korea launched its second long- range rocket of 2012 on Wednesday and may have finally succeeded in putting a satellite into space, the stated aim of what critics say is a disguised ballistic missile test. REUTERS/Kyodo
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North Koreans walk in Pyongyang, in this photo taken by Kyodo December 12, 2012. Isolated and impoverished North Korea launched its second long- range rocket of 2012 on Wednesday and may have finally succeeded in putting a satellite into space, the stated aim of what critics say is a disguised ballistic missile test. REUTERS/Kyodo

North Koreans walk in Pyongyang, in this photo taken by Kyodo December 12, 2012. Isolated and impoverished North Korea launched its second long- range rocket of 2012 on Wednesday and may have finally succeeded in putting a satellite into space, the...more

North Koreans walk in Pyongyang, in this photo taken by Kyodo December 12, 2012. Isolated and impoverished North Korea launched its second long- range rocket of 2012 on Wednesday and may have finally succeeded in putting a satellite into space, the stated aim of what critics say is a disguised ballistic missile test. REUTERS/Kyodo
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A helicopter of the Japan Self-Defence Forces flies over a Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missiles unit after North Korea launched a rocket, in Ishigaki on Japan's southern island of Ishigaki Island, Okinawa prefecture, in this photo taken by Kyodo December 12, 2012. Isolated and impoverished North Korea launched its second long- range rocket of 2012 on Wednesday and may have finally succeeded in putting a satellite into space, the stated aim of what critics say is a disguised ballistic missile test. REUTERS/Kyodo

A helicopter of the Japan Self-Defence Forces flies over a Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missiles unit after North Korea launched a rocket, in Ishigaki on Japan's southern island of Ishigaki Island, Okinawa prefecture, in this photo taken by...more

A helicopter of the Japan Self-Defence Forces flies over a Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missiles unit after North Korea launched a rocket, in Ishigaki on Japan's southern island of Ishigaki Island, Okinawa prefecture, in this photo taken by Kyodo December 12, 2012. Isolated and impoverished North Korea launched its second long- range rocket of 2012 on Wednesday and may have finally succeeded in putting a satellite into space, the stated aim of what critics say is a disguised ballistic missile test. REUTERS/Kyodo
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North Koreans gather under a sign that advertises cooked chestnuts and sweet potatoes in Pyongyang, in this photo taken by Kyodo December 12, 2012. Isolated and impoverished North Korea launched its second long- range rocket of 2012 on Wednesday and may have finally succeeded in putting a satellite into space, the stated aim of what critics say is a disguised ballistic missile test. REUTERS/Kyodo

North Koreans gather under a sign that advertises cooked chestnuts and sweet potatoes in Pyongyang, in this photo taken by Kyodo December 12, 2012. Isolated and impoverished North Korea launched its second long- range rocket of 2012 on Wednesday and...more

North Koreans gather under a sign that advertises cooked chestnuts and sweet potatoes in Pyongyang, in this photo taken by Kyodo December 12, 2012. Isolated and impoverished North Korea launched its second long- range rocket of 2012 on Wednesday and may have finally succeeded in putting a satellite into space, the stated aim of what critics say is a disguised ballistic missile test. REUTERS/Kyodo
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A North Korean KRT TV presenter announces the successful launch of a long-range rocket by North Korea in this December 12, 2012, still image taken from TV. North Korea successfully launched the rocket on Wednesday, boosting the credentials of its new leader and stepping up the threat the isolated and impoverished state poses to its opponents. The rocket, which North Korea says was designed to put a weather satellite into orbit, has been labelled by the U.S., 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 the United States.site. The words at the bottom of the still image is an announcement of the successful launch of the rocket. REUTERS/KRT via REUTERS TV

A North Korean KRT TV presenter announces the successful launch of a long-range rocket by North Korea in this December 12, 2012, still image taken from TV. North Korea successfully launched the rocket on Wednesday, boosting the credentials of its new...more

A North Korean KRT TV presenter announces the successful launch of a long-range rocket by North Korea in this December 12, 2012, still image taken from TV. North Korea successfully launched the rocket on Wednesday, boosting the credentials of its new leader and stepping up the threat the isolated and impoverished state poses to its opponents. The rocket, which North Korea says was designed to put a weather satellite into orbit, has been labelled by the U.S., 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 the United States.site. The words at the bottom of the still image is an announcement of the successful launch of the rocket. REUTERS/KRT via REUTERS TV
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Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura attends a news conference after a meeting of the security council of Japan at Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's official residence in Tokyo December 12, 2012. Japan's top government spokesman Fujimura voiced protest over North Korea's rocket launch on Wednesday, saying it was "extremely regrettable." REUTERS/Issei Kato

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura attends a news conference after a meeting of the security council of Japan at Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's official residence in Tokyo December 12, 2012. Japan's top government spokesman Fujimura...more

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura attends a news conference after a meeting of the security council of Japan at Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's official residence in Tokyo December 12, 2012. Japan's top government spokesman Fujimura voiced protest over North Korea's rocket launch on Wednesday, saying it was "extremely regrettable." REUTERS/Issei Kato
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South Koreans watch a television report on North Korea's rocket launch at Seoul railway station in Seoul December 12, 2012. North Korea successfully launched a rocket on Wednesday, boosting the credentials of its new leader and stepping up the threat the isolated and impoverished state poses to its opponents. The rocket, which North Korea says was designed to put a weather satellite into orbit, has been labelled 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 the United States. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won

South Koreans watch a television report on North Korea's rocket launch at Seoul railway station in Seoul December 12, 2012. North Korea successfully launched a rocket on Wednesday, boosting the credentials of its new leader and stepping up the threat...more

South Koreans watch a television report on North Korea's rocket launch at Seoul railway station in Seoul December 12, 2012. North Korea successfully launched a rocket on Wednesday, boosting the credentials of its new leader and stepping up the threat the isolated and impoverished state poses to its opponents. The rocket, which North Korea says was designed to put a weather satellite into orbit, has been labelled 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 the United States. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won
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