The rocket flew over Japan and landed in the Pacific Ocean, the Japanese broadcaster NHK said, citing its government.
"Our primary concern is to confirm safety and gather information," Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso told a news BREAKING NEWS — North Korea defiantly carried out a provocative rocket launch Sunday that the U.S., Japan and other nations suspect was a cover for a test of its long-range missile technology.
Liftoff took place at 10:30 p.m. EDT Saturday from the coastal Musudan-ri launch pad in northeastern North Korea, the South Korean government said. In Washington, the State Department also confirmed the launch.
"We look on this as a provocative act," U.S. State Department spokesman Fred Lash said.
The launch "will prompt the United States to take appropriate steps to let North Korea know that it cannot threaten the safety and security of other countries with impunity," Lash said."North's Korea's development, deployment and proliferation of missiles, ballistic missile-related materials, equipment and technologies pose a serious threat to the northeast Asia region and to the international community," Lash said.conference at his Tokyo office Sunday.
Japan is requesting an emergency session of the U.N. Security Council to deal with North Korea's rocket launch.
Spokesman Yutaka Arima says Japan's United Nations mission asked for a meeting of the 15-nation council Sunday.
The request must be approved by Mexico's mission to the U.N., which holds the council presidency this monthU.N. diplomats are discussing ways to affirm existing sanctions on North Korea against its nuclear program and long-range missile tests.
Resisting calls from President Barack Obama, Aso and Hu Jintao of China to call off the launch, North Korea had announced Saturday that preparations were complete to send communications satellite Kwangmyongsong-2 on a multistage rocket bound for the skies over Japan.
Tokyo deployed warships and Patriot missile interceptors off its northern coast to shoot down any debris that the North said might fall over the area.
U.S. and South Korean warships equipped with missile interceptors also plied the waters between the Korean peninsula and Japan to monitor the launch.
Russia, meanwhile, scrambled fighter jets to its Far East in case any debris hits its territory, Russian news reports said.
North Korea pushed ahead with the launch despite mounting international pressure to cancel a liftoff Obama warned Friday would be a "provocative" act.
South Korea, the U.S. and Japan said earlier in the week they would take North Korea to the U.N. Security Council for an act they say is banned under a 2006 resolution barring Pyongyang from ballistic activity.
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