South Korean defense officials announced that North Korea launched a long-range missile on Sunday, receiving immediate condemnation by the United States. North Korea had said it planned to put a satellite into orbit, the launch was viewed by other nations, such as Japan and South Korea, as a front for a ballistic missile test, especially coming on the heels of North Korea’s hydrogen bomb test last month.
U.S., Japan and South Korea have requested an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting. The South Korean national security council held an emergency meeting in response to the launch, the South Korean President’s office said. South Korea said the rocket was launched around 9:30 a.m. local time (7:30 p.m. ET) and headed south.
The U.S. official said it headed toward the Yellow Sea. U.S. officials and South Korean leaders immediately criticized the rocket launch. Secretary of State John Kerry called Sunday’s test “a major provocation” that threatens the security of the region and the United States and said the U.S. would work with members of the U.N. Security Council on “significant measures” to hold North Korea to account for the launch. National Security Adviser Susan Rice condemned the test in a statement, saying it “represents yet another destabilizing and provocative action” and “a serious threat to our interests.”
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