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North Korea Admits Rocket Failed Shortly After Launch

South Korean people watch a TV screen showing a graphic of North Korea's rocket launch, at a train station in Seoul, April 13, 2012.
South Korean people watch a TV screen showing a graphic of North Korea's rocket launch, at a train station in Seoul, April 13, 2012.

North Korea has acknowledged a multi-stage rocket it launched early Friday failed to reach orbit.

An announcer on North Korean television - interrupting programming four hours after the launch, which was not broadcast - says the Kwangmyongsong-3 earth observation satellite did not succeed in reaching orbit and scientific experts are investigating the cause of the failure.

Officials in Seoul, Tokyo and Washington say North Korea's rocket indeed blasted off from the launch pad but failed to get very far.

U.S. military officials called it a Taepo Dong-2 missile. They say it was tracked by satellite on a southern trajectory where the first stage fell into the Yellow Sea. The North American Aerospace Defense Command says the other two stages failed to continue in flight and never posed a threat.

Related - North Korean Rocket Fails Shortly After Launch

South Korean army major general Shin Won-sik, speaking to reporters at the defense ministry, says the missile began tumbling back to Earth at an altitude of 151 kilometers, separating into about 20 pieces and harmlessly falling into the Yellow Sea 100 to 150 kilometers offshore.

The general says the launch clearly violates UN resolutions 1718 and 1874 and was a test-firing of a long-rang missile disguised as a satellite launch. He adds this is a grave provocation and a serious military threat to international society and the Republic of Korea.

Japan's defense forces, along with the South Korean and U.S. militaries in the region, had deployed anti-missile batteries on land and at sea to possibly shoot down the object if it flew over Japanese or South Korean territories.

Authorities in Japan's southern Okinawan islands, which are close to the intended flight path, activated public address loudspeakers soon after the launch.

Citizens were advised that there was nothing to worry about from the North Korean missile launch while newspaper vendors handed out copies of extra editions.

The incident prompted emergency security meetings both in Seoul and in Tokyo.

The U.N. Security Council is to add an agenda item about North Korea to its already scheduled Friday session.

The Group of Eight nations - composed of the United States, Russia, Japan, Germany, the France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Canada - are calling for the United Nations to make an appropriate response to Pyongyang's action.

South Korea's foreign minister, Kim Sung-hwan, strongly condemns the North going ahead with the launch.

Kim says it is truly regrettable that North Korea spends huge financial resources on developing nuclear weapons and missiles while its citizens are experiencing such hardships.

Japan is echoing similar sentiments, adding it is considering additional financial sanctions on North Korea.

This marks North Korea's third failed attempt at a claimed satellite launch.

There is growing speculation in the intelligence community that North Korea will soon conduct a third nuclear test. Such underground explosions of nuclear devices followed its two previous attempted launches of multi-stage missiles.

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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: NVO
April 14, 2012 10:07 AM
Tyrancial regime, starve their own people, but spend $ on launching a rocket that was purchased at ACME by Wiley Coyote. SHAM!

by: Kesi
April 13, 2012 11:44 AM
@ Aime Dollar,

Why do you have to pick on Africa? I hardly think you have made a point. If you are speaking of North Korea, please do so and leave out Africa which does not have anything to do with the launch.

by: Kesi
April 13, 2012 11:29 AM
@ Aime Dollar,

Why do you have to pick on Africa? I hardly think you have made a point. If you are speaking of North Korea, please do so and leave out Africa which does not have anything to do with the launch.

by: William
April 13, 2012 7:36 AM
I predicted it would fall over and explode on its launch pad but close enough.

by: Aime Dollar
April 13, 2012 5:09 AM
Please North Korea, did you ask U.S. how to create and to launch rocket, or you asked advice with Congo-Brazzaville?
I'm very sorry with this behavor.
It's not late gays, Obama can give you a last chance.

by: Miles Kendig
April 13, 2012 5:03 AM
Danger,not to be underestimated,ignored,or dismissed. Dialog only gives N. Korea opportunity to expand and perfect the danger, which will cost the world.

by: Robert
April 13, 2012 5:00 AM
Now that thats over, can they go back to taking the necessary steps to feed their people?

by: Jesus
April 13, 2012 4:37 AM
I pray hard to stop this launch

by: kelven
April 13, 2012 3:55 AM
North Korea was said very cow,but they always haven't technology and more money to grow. So they are not successful fact

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