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South Korea launches first civilian rocket amid tensions with North

Korea Aerospace Research Institute - YNA via EPA

The Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1, carrying a science satellite, blasts off at the Naro Space Center in Goheung on South Korea's south coast on Jan. 30, 2013.

Shin Young-Gun / Yonhap via AP

South Korean elementary schoolchildren celebrate as they watch TV news reporting the country's first rocket launch, at the National Science Museum in Gwacheon on Jan. 30, 2013.

Yonhap via AFP - Getty Images

South Korea launched a rocket on Jan. 30, 2013 in its third bid to put a satellite in orbit -- a high-stakes challenge to national pride after rival North Korea succeeded in the same mission last month.

South Korea says it has successfully launched a satellite into space from its own soil for the first time, weeks after archrival North Korea accomplished a similar feat. NBCNews.com's Dara Brown reports.

Reuters reports — South Korea launched its first space rocket carrying a science satellite on Wednesday amid heightened regional tensions, caused in part by North Korea's successful launch of its own rocket last month.

It was South Korea's third attempt to launch a civilian rocket to send a satellite in orbit in the past four years and came after two previous launches were aborted at the eleventh hour last year due to technical glitches.

South Korea's rocket program has angered neighbor North Korea, which says it is unjust for it to be singled out for U.N. sanctions for launching long-range rockets as part of its space program to put a satellite into orbit. Read the full story.

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