South Korea attempts rocket launch weeks after archrival North Korea put satellite into space

South Korea is attempting to launch a satellite from its own soil for the first time, a feat that archrival North Korea accomplished last month to the surprise of the world.

Wednesday's launch try is Seoul's third attempt to put a satellite into space from its own territory. Previous liftoffs in 2009 and 2010 failed. Two more recent launch attempts were aborted at the last minute because of technical problems.

This attempt comes amid increased tension on the Korean Peninsula over North Korea's threat to explode its third nuclear device. Pyongyang is angry over tough new international sanctions over its Dec. 12 rocket launch.

Seoul and Washington call Pyongyang's rocket launch a cover for a test of banned ballistic missile technology.