South Korea says North Korea launched long-range rocket

Molly Novak

South Korean defense officials said North Korea fired a long-range rocket early Friday, reported the Associated Press. This defys previous international warnings against a launch widely seen as a provocation.

In Washington D.C., U.S. officials say the launch may have failed, according to AP.

South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said in a televised news conference that North Korea launched the rocket around 7:39 a.m. He said officials were determining whether it was a success, but provided no further details and did not say how South Korea confirmed the launch.

North Korea announced it would send a three-stage rocket with a satellite as part of celebrating Kim Il Sung's 100th birthday, reported AP.

It is their third attempt to send a satellite into space since 1998.