North Korea acknowledged in a noon announcement broadcast on state TV that a satellite launched hours earlier from the west coast failed to enter into orbit. The U.S. and South Korea also declared the launch a failure.
World leaders were swift to denounce the launch, calling it a covert test of missile technology and a flagrant violation of international resolutions prohibiting North Korea from developing its nuclear and missile programs.
The leaders of the Group of Eight industrialised nations meeting in Washington, including Russia, condemned the launch. The UN Security Council, meanwhile, scheduled an emergency meeting for later Friday, and Washington said it was suspending plans to contribute food aid to the North in exchange for a rollback of its nuclear programs.
North Korea had announced weeks earlier that scientists would launch a long-range rocket mounted with an observational satellite, touting it as a major technological achievement to mark the forthcoming 100th anniversary of the birth of the country's founder, Kim Il-sung.
The United States, Russia, Japan and others urged North Korea to call off the launch. Experts say the Unha-3 carrier is the same type of rocket that would be used to strike the US and other targets with a long-range missile.
Read more at the Telegraph...