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North Korea declares its long-range rocket launch a success; neighbors protest

North Korea has confirmed the launch of a long-range rocket, and is declaring it a success.

Pyongyang's state media announced Wednesday that a special broadcast about the launch would take place at noon (0300 GMT).

South Korean and Japanese officials confirmed that liftoff took place shortly before 10 a.m. (0100 GMT). Along with the U.S., they had been urging North Korea to refrain from a launch widely seen as a cover for a test of banned ballistic missile technology.