North Korea said Wednesday it has "successfully launched" a rocket carrying a spy satellite and it "accurately" entered into orbit, according to the official Korean Central News Agency.

Pyongyang defended the launch as its "legitimate right" for strengthening its self-defense capabilities and said it will make "a great contribution" to enhancing the country's war readiness amid "enemies' dangerous military moves," KCNA reported.

The new-type carrier rocket "Chollima-1" loaded with the reconnaissance satellite "Malligyong-1" is launched from the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground in Tongchang-ri in North Korea's northwest on Nov. 21, 2023. (KCNA/Kyodo)

The rocket Chollima-1 flew normally along the preset flight track and put the reconnaissance satellite Malligyong-1 on its orbit at 10:54 p.m. Tuesday, about 12 minutes after the launch, the report said. It came ahead of a nine-day launch window that was supposed to commence Wednesday.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (C) rejoices as a Chollima-1 new-type carrier rocket transporting the Malligyong-1 reconnaissance satellite is launched at the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground in Tongchang-ri on Nov. 21, 2023. (KNS/Kyodo)

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversaw the launch on the spot and congratulated those involved, including scientists and technicians, the agency said. Pyongyang vowed to place several more satellites into orbit in a short span of time to secure its reconnaissance capabilities over South Korea, it added.

The Japanese government said it has not confirmed whether the payload successfully entered Earth's orbit. The firing followed Pyongyang's two failed attempts earlier this year to place a military reconnaissance satellite into orbit.

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