The anticipated rocket launch by North Korea ended quickly in failure on Friday as the rocket broke into pieces and fell into the Yellow Sea not long after taking off. Both Japan and South Korea threatened to shot the rocket down should it pass into their airspace. North Korea announced that the rocket failed to enter orbit and the United States and South Korea also deemed the launch a failure.
The rocket, the Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite, was launched from the Sohae Satellite Launching Station in Tongchang-ri. The site is on the west coast. The launch took place at 7:30 a.m. on Friday morning.
“Scientists, technicians and experts are now looking into the cause of the failure,” KCNA said.
As a response to the rocket launch, it was announced by the U.S. government that it would suspend plans to issue food aid to the North in exchange for their rollback on their nuclear program. Along with the U.S., Japan, Britain and other countries were urging North Korea not to launch the rocket, which was seen as a covert test of the same technology that could be used on a long-range rocket to hit the U.S.
The country did not budge in its efforts to launch the rocket, claiming it would only have a civilian satellite onboard. They also said it was a technological achievement to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birthday of Kim Il Sung, the founder of the country.
The following statement was released by the White House in response to the rocker launch by North Korea:
Despite the failure of its attempted missile launch, North Korea’s provocative action threatens regional security, violates international law and contravenes its own recent commitments. While this action is not surprising given North Korea’s pattern of aggressive behavior, any missile activity by North Korea is of concern to the international community. The United States remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations, and is fully committed to the security our allies in the region.
The President has been clear that he is prepared to engage constructively with North Korea. However, he has also insisted that North Korea live up to its own commitments, adhere to its international obligations and deal peacefully with its neighbors.
North Korea is only further isolating itself by engaging in provocative acts, and is wasting its money on weapons and propaganda displays while the North Korean people go hungry. North Korea’s long-standing development of missiles and pursuit of nuclear weapons have not brought it security – and never will. North Korea will only show strength and find security by abiding by international law, living up to its obligations, and by working to feed its citizens, to educate its children, and to win the trust of its neighbors.