PYONGYANG , NORTH KOREA – In the end, North Korea’s provocative multi-stage rocket launch went out with a fizzle…not a bang. According to U.S., Japanese and South Korean sources, the North Korean rocket broke up shortly after lift-off Friday morning local time, spreading debris into the waters off South Korea.
“This is just a reminder,” Seoul-based North Korea expert Alexi Lankov told Fox News, “ that Pyongyang hasn’t developed a credible vehicle for a nuclear weapon delivery system.”
While noting the failure of the launch, White House spokesman Jay Carney still described the launch as “provocative,” and the U.S. says its suspension of a planned food aid delivery was still on.
As for North Korean officials, which had touted the launch as a peaceful civilian satellite endeavor, remained silent for hours after the early morning local time lift-off and reported failure.
KCNA North Korea's state news agency, would later admit simply that the satellite did not make orbit
The launch had been billed as the centerpiece to festivities surrounding Sunday’s 100th anniversary of the birth date of North Korea’s founder Kim Il-sung.
Its failure overshadowed a planned session of North Korea’s rubber stamp parliament the Supreme People’s Assembly which was set to further anoint Kim’s grandson Kim Jung-un with titles in line with his late father and former North Korean leader Kim Jung-il.