By CNN's Tim Schwarz in Pyonguang
Defying warnings from the international community, North Korea launched a long-range rocket on Friday, but it appears to have broken apart before escaping the earth's atmosphere, U.S. officials said.
No element of the rocket reached space, said a U.S. official, who based that conclusion on data collected by the United States from its first few moments aloft.
"This was supposed to be associated with (Kim Jong Un's) ascension to power. So for this thing to fail ... is incredibly embarrassing," said Victor Cha, former director of Asian affairs for the U.S. National Security Council and now a Georgetown University professor.
The launch occurred at 7:39 a.m. Friday, both Yonhap and YTN reported, citing South Korean officials.