North Korea surprised the world by launching a long-range rocket on Wednesday, despite standing threats of UN sanctions over disguised military tests. North Korea insists the December 12-launch was for the purpose of putting a satellite into orbit, The Korean Central News Agency says the launch was successful and that, "the satellite has entered the orbit as planned." Parts of the rocket dropped into the sea off the Korean Peninsula and near the Philippines. Japan condemned the launch calling it "extremely regrettable" while Britain said it "deplored" North Korea's decision to go ahead to improve its people's welfare. In a statement released Wednesday, the Department of Foreign Affairs said that ,"the Philippines strongly condemns the launch" and has "firmly" urged North Korea to " desist from acts of provocation and to end its use or testing of ballistic missile technology."