Breaking: U.S.: North Korea launches rocket4:32 pm - 04/12/2012
Pyongyang, North Korea (CNN) -- Defying warnings from the international community, North Korea launched a long-range rocket on Friday, but it appears to have broken apart shortly afterward, U.S. officials said.
Tokyo, which had threatened to shoot down the rocket if it appeared to be threatening its territory, had called for restraint. But Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said Thursday, "We are fully prepared to deal with any contingency," according to the news agency Kyodo.
Countries that include the United States and South Korea see the launch as a cover for a ballistic missile test. International leaders had urged North Korea to cancel the launch, but Pyongyang refused to back down, insisting the operation is for peaceful purposes.
According to ABC news, the rocket seems to have failed.