Japan successfully put its latest spy satellite into orbit Friday, almost two weeks after North Korea carried out a missile launch exercise targeting US bases in the country, local media reported. The H-2A rocket carrying the government's Information Gathering Satellite Radar 5 blasted off from Tanegashima Space Centre in southern Japan at 10:20 am (0120 GMT), broadcaster NHK reported.
The satellite separated from the rocket about 20 minutes later, the report said.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd, the country's largest defense contractor, were forced to put off the launch on Wednesday due to bad weather.
The spy satellite program was developed and introduced after a missile launched from North Korea in 1998 flew over Japan's mainland, spooking Tokyo.
North Korea has accelerated its nuclear program under leader Kim Jong Un, carrying out two nuclear tests and launching more than 20 ballistic missiles last year alone.
On Thursday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed that the two countries should share strategic goals to deal with Pyongyang's growing nuclear missile threat.
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