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Sun 15 Apr 2012 10:49 AM

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North Korea’s rocket launch fails

North Korea launched a long-range rocket that appears to have disintegrated soon after blastoff and fallen into the ocean, South Korean and Japanese authorities said

North Korea’s rocket launch fails
North Korea's much hyped long-range rocket launch on Friday ended in apparent failure, South Korean officials said, dealing a blow to the prestige of the reclusive and impoverished state that defied international pressure to push ahead with the plan. (AFP/Getty Images)
North Korea’s rocket launch fails
North Korea said it wanted the Unha-3 rocket to put a weather satellite into orbit, although critics believed it was designed to enhance the capacity of North Korea to design a ballistic missile deliver a nuclear warhead capable of hitting the continental United States.(AFP/Getty Images)
North Korea’s rocket launch fails
A spokesman for the Defense Ministry in Seoul told journalists that the rocket had broken up and crashed into the sea a few minutes after launch. (AFP/Getty Images)
North Korea’s rocket launch fails
Officials from Japan confirmed the mission had failed, while ABC News cited U.S. officials saying it had failed, although there was no immediate indication of where it fell. (AFP/Getty Images)
North Korea’s rocket launch fails
The rocket's flight was set to take it over a sea separating the Korean peninsula, with an eventual launch of a third stage of the rocket in seas near the Philippines that would have put the satellite into orbit.(AFP/Getty Images)
North Korea’s rocket launch fails
This was North Korea's second consecutive failure to get a satellite into orbit, although it claimed success with a 2009 launch and there was no comment on the launch from North Korea's official media. (AFP/Getty Images)
North Korea’s rocket launch fails
The Unha-3 rocket took off from a new launch site on the west coast of North Korea, near the Chinese border. (AFP/Getty Images)
North Korea’s rocket launch fails
The launch had been timed to coincide with the 100th birthday celebrations of the isolated and impoverished state's founder, Kim Il-sung, and came after a food aid deal with the United States had hinted at an easing of tensions on the world's most militarized border. (AFP/Getty Images)
North Korea’s rocket launch fails
The launch had been timed to coincide with the 100th birthday celebrations of the isolated and impoverished state's founder, Kim Il-sung, and came after a food aid deal with the United States had hinted at an easing of tensions on the world's most militarized border.(AFP/Getty Images)
North Korea’s rocket launch fails
The launch had been timed to coincide with the 100th birthday celebrations of the isolated and impoverished state's founder, Kim Il-sung, and came after a food aid deal with the United States had hinted at an easing of tensions on the world's most militarized border.(AFP/Getty Images)