- NHK: NKorean rocket flew about 120 kilometers before splitting into four pieces, Japanese defense source says
- REU: SOUTH KOREAN ARMY SAYS ROCKET DEBRIS CRASHED BETWEEN 190KM TO 210KM OFF KUNSAN, A CITY ON WEST COAST OF SKOREA
- [As released by the New Zealand government]
Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully has joined the widespread international condemnation of North Korea’s satellite launch today using ballistic missile technology.
"Despite North Korea’s claim that the satellite launch is for peaceful purposes, this action violates UN Security Council Resolutions, aggravates tensions and undermines efforts to build peace and stability in the region," Mr McCully says.
- Kyodo: No damage reported in Okinawa after N. Korea rocket launch: gov't
- SEOUL, April 13 (Yonhap) -- North Korea defiantly fired off a long-range rocket Friday, officials said, in a move sure to spark strong international condemnations and escalate regional tensions.
The Unha-3 rocket took off from the Tongchang-ri launch site at 7:39 a.m., but appears to have separated into several pieces before crashing into the sea a few minutes after takeoff, Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seook said.
- North Korea's long-range rocket fell into the sea about a minute after launch, Japan's Defense Minister Naoki Tanaka says
DEVELOPING - North Korea's attempt Friday to launch a rocket has failed, according to U.S. officials.
Data suggests the rocket broke up in mid-flight inside the Earth's atmosphere. Officials tell Fox News the rocket did not fall into any populated areas, suggesting it fell into the ocean.
When North Korea attempted to launch a rocket in 2009, the launch also failed during the third phase.
The launch window was scheduled during a week aimed at celebrating Sunday's centennial birth of Kim Ill Sung, the country's late founder.
The United States, Japan, Britain, Russia and others say the launch would be a provocation and would violate U.N. Security Council resolutions banning North Korea from developing its nuclear and missile programs. Experts say the Unha-3 carrier is similar to the type of rocket that could be used to fire a missile mounted with a nuclear warhead to strike the U.S. or other targets.
North Korea denies that the launch is anything but a peaceful civilian bid to send a satellite into space. The Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite is designed to send back images and data that will be used for weather forecasts and agricultural surveys.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, speaking for the Group of Eight nations after their foreign ministers met in Washington, said all the members of the bloc agreed to be prepared to take further action against North Korea in the Security Council if the launch goes ahead.
"Pyongyang has a clear choice: It can pursue peace and reap the benefits of closer ties with the international community, including the United States; or it can continue to face pressure and isolation," Clinton said.
At the United Nations in New York, G-8 member Russia echoed that the launch would violate Security Council resolutions. But North Korea's other main ally, China -- which is not part of the G-8 -- was more circumspect.
"We are very concerned about that issue," China's U.N. Ambassador Li Baodong said, adding that Beijing wanted to "diffuse tension, not inflame" it.
Japan's parliament adopted a resolution Thursday condemning the scheduled rocket launch.
"A launch is a serious act of provocation that would affect peace and stability in the region that includes our country," Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said, reading the resolution adopted unanimously at the lower house. "We strongly urge North Korea to use self-restraint and not to carry out a launch."
South Korea's Defense Ministry said it was prepared to shoot down any rocket that strays into its territory.
Fox News' Jennifer Griffin, Greg Palkot, Justin Fishel and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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