U.S. officials said a rocket launched by North Korea failed moments after being fired, but the White House still described the launch as a “provocative action” that threatens regional security and violates international law.
In a statement, White House spokesman Jay Carney said any missile activity by North Korea is of concern to the international community. The White House has said a launch would jeopardise planned food aid.
The statement came after the North American Aerospace Defence Command and U.S. Northern Command said that the first rocket stage fell to the Yellow Sea and that the remaining stages failed.
Pyongyang claims it was a peaceful mission to place a satellite in space. The U.S. and much of the rest of the world consider it a test of a long-range missile.