North Korea's long-range rocket launch ended in apparent failure, South Korean officials said, knocking the prestige of the reclusive state that defied pressure to push ahead with the project, Reuters said.
North Korea said it wanted their new rocket to put a weather satellite into orbit, although critics believed it was designed to deliver a nuclear warhead capable of hitting the continental United States.
A spokesman from South Korea said that the rocket had broken up and crashed into the sea a few minutes after launch.
Officials from Japan confirmed the mission failed, while ABC News cited U.S. officials saying there was no immediate indication that the rocket had failed.
This was North Korea's second consecutive failure to get a satellite into orbit.