Rocketry is hard.
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.
The failure was corroborated by a South Korean official, South Korea’s Yonhap News reported.
The U.N. Security Council will meet Friday on the launch, two U.N. diplomats and a U.S. official told CNN.
I’m hoping it turns out that the Japanese shot it down.
Update: Dan Miller has much more on North Korea’s missile, the succession and a possible nuclear test in the offing.
Update: Mitt Romney has responded to the failed North Korean launch.
“I condemn in the strongest possible terms the attempted North Korean missile launch. Although the missile test failed, Pyongyang’s action is another blatant violation of unanimous U.N. Security Council resolutions and demonstrates once again that Pyongyang is committed to developing long-range missiles with the potential of carrying nuclear weapons. Its weapons program poses a clear and growing threat to the United States, one for which President Obama has no effective response. Instead of approaching Pyongyang from a position of strength, President Obama sought to appease the regime with a food-aid deal that proved to be as naïve as it was short-lived. At the same time, he has cut critical U.S. missile defense programs and continues to underfund them. This incompetence from the Obama Administration has emboldened the North Korean regime and undermined the security of the United States and our allies.”