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Leaders react to North Korean rocket launch

Friday, April 13, 2012 - 5:04am

The United Nations Security Council meets this morning to discuss a failed rocket launch by North Korea.

There's reaction around the world this morning. The U.S. and its allies are accusing North Korea of violating international rules.

It was last night our time, already Friday morning in North Korea, when this launch took place. It was a major embarrassment they had called in about 100 journalists to watch.

North Korea’s long range rocket fell into the sea minutes after liftoff. "Something happened to the second stage, in the beginning of the burn, because it did not really fly too far away from the launch site," said Yuri Karash of the Russian Academy of Cosmonautics.

The Koreans insist the rocket was being used to put a weather satellite into orbit, and celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of the country's founder, but the U.S., Japan, Great Britain and the G8’s  Foreign Ministers are calling it a provocative act.

In a statement, the White House said it "threatens regional security and violates international law."

The U.N. Security Council will discuss the launch later this morning. "Pyongyang has a clear choice:  It can pursue peace and reap the benefits of closer ties with the international community, including the United States; or it can continue to face pressure and isolation," said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Now, South Korea is on the lookout for a nuclear test, and the U.S. is threatening to cut off food aid to North Korea. "The clear violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions that a launch of a ballistic missile would represent makes it virtually impossible for us to go ahead with that program of assistance," said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.

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