Defying warnings from the international community, North Korea launched a long-range rocket on Friday, but it appears to have broken apart before escaping the earth's atmosphere, officials said.
No element of the rocket reached space, said a U.S. official, who based that conclusion on data collected by the United States from its first few moments aloft.
"This was supposed to be associated with (Kim Jong Un's) ascension to power. So for this thing to fail ... is incredibly embarrassing," said Victor Cha, former director of Asian affairs for the U.S. National Security Council and now a Georgetown University professor.
The launch occurred at 7:39 a.m. Friday, both Yonhap and YTN reported, citing South Korean officials.
Immediately afterward, the South Korean military dispatched helicopters and ships in an attempt to find debris related to the rocket launch, according to YTN.
Japan says the rocket blew up after about a minute. These guys can test a nuclear weapon but can't fire a rocket? Yeah. I'm betting some helpful spies got in and switched a few numbers around. Boom. Oops.
Either way, UN Security Council will reportedly meet tomorrow to
have a good long laugh discuss what the international community should do next. Should be interesting.