News

    North Korean Rocket Fails Shortly After Launch

    File photo of the North Korean rocket before its launch
    File photo of the North Korean rocket before its launch

    North Korea tried and failed on Friday to launch a multi-stage rocket. Things appeared to go wrong shortly after the blast-off.

    Officials in Seoul, Tokyo and Washington say North Korea did get its rocket off the launch pad at about 07:40 in the morning.

    But South Korea Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok calls the launch a failure.

    Kim says it is suspected that it failed shortly after the launch, breaking into pieces and losing altitude.

    Japanese Deputy Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura concurs with that assessment, adding that the flight lasted only a minute or two.

    Fujimura says there is no indication any debris fell on Japanese territory.

    Initial reports are that the debris may have fallen into the Yellow Sea about 200 kilometers west of the South Korean coast.

    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.

    Japan, the United States and other countries regard the launch as a covert test of ballistic missile technology, in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions.

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

    The U.N. Security Council is to discuss North Korea during a previously scheduled Friday session.

    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.

    Reporters in Pyongyang who had been told they would be able to view the launch from an observation center were not taken there. At a newsroom set up for the visiting correspondents, North Korean officials declined to answer any questions immediately after the failed launch.


    Steve Herman

    A veteran journalist, Steve Herman is VOA's Southeast Asia Bureau Chief and Correspondent, based in Bangkok.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
        Next 
    by: Christine
    April 12, 2012 11:31 PM
    I can't belive it. It has happend what I didn't thought of. Previously I always thought NK be able to launch the satellite successfully. None word to be over!

    by: CcyY
    April 12, 2012 10:46 PM
    This matter broke up international community's anticipation again after Kim Jongun who looks like more open than his father went on stage, we were all deceived again. For sure, on the one hand North Korea will still require international aid on the pretext of starving people; on the other hand secretly develop nuclear weapons and long-range ballistic missiles without caring about life or death of its staring citizens. The whole world has been abducted by such a crazy country!

    by: Bruce Parkes
    April 12, 2012 10:34 PM
    Obviously the North Korean regime do not habe any episodes of Mythbusters.

    by: kasim
    April 12, 2012 7:47 PM
    N. Korea has done something incredible which we Chinese can't understand and we ask ourselves, will our country give our hand to N.K if the war break out.

    by: Jang
    April 12, 2012 7:46 PM
    Mike that is the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen.

    by: Hairyleft nut
    April 12, 2012 6:58 PM
    Koreans are very stubborn, Arrogant ,Rude ,race of people North or South still one race if u know any koreans u will now...as a Teacher in south Korea we see the mentality as we are a superior race the only way u treat a bully is with a more force than the Bully North Korea will fall lets all hope its with a puff and not a nuclear bang.!!!

    by: Al
    April 12, 2012 6:49 PM
    Put a missile defense system around the country and shoot down anything that leaves there country.

    by: Do Hai
    April 12, 2012 6:44 PM
    Korea North is a poor country, but they're living near by the rich others! Everything they did just for bargain and threaten Jappan & South Korea. Nothing else ! Who's bet?

    by: VOA
    April 12, 2012 5:54 PM
    It is just like Chine where many poor and starve people, but donate money and material to Africa and other regions for Political. In domestic, harmonious society is bad lie to people

    by: NVO
    April 12, 2012 5:30 PM
    ACME, Wiley Coyote rocket was starved of rice, just like these Buffoons starve their own people. Go figure! Idiots.
    Comments page of 2
        Next 

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Eitheri
    X
    Jim Malone
    June 29, 2016 6:16 PM
    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora