POSTED: Thursday, April 12, 2012 - 9:00pm
UPDATED: Thursday, April 12, 2012 - 9:14pm
PYONGYANG, North Korea — Defying international concerns, North Korea fired a long-range rocket early Friday that splintered into pieces over the Yellow Sea about a minute after takeoff in an apparent failure, South Korean and U.S. officials said.
The liftoff took place at 7:39 a.m. (2239 GMT Thursday) from the west coast launch pad in the hamlet of Tongchang-ri, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff in Seoul said, citing South Korean and U.S. intelligence.
The U.S., South Korea and many other countries had warned against the launch, calling it a provocation and a cover to test missile technology. North Korea had insisted it would not back down, and said the rocket would only carry a civilian satellite, touting it as a major technological achievement to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of the country's founder, Kim Il Sung, on Sunday.
Read more here at The Houston Chronicle.