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N Korea rocket failed, say US, Japan, S Korea
(2nd update) They said it broke apart a minute after lift-off; South Korea says 'it disintegrated into several pieces'

MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) – The United States, Japan and South Korea confirmed that the rocket launch of North Korea failed, breaking apart one minute after it took off, various reports said.

North Korea’s “flying object” fell into the ocean, said Japan. It “disintegrated into several pieces,” said the South Korean government.

South Korea’s defense ministry said the rocket was launched at 07:39 am (2239 GMT Thursday).

“It seems that the rocket has failed,” ministry spokesman Kim Min-Seok told journalists.

“A few minutes after the launch, the rocket disintegrated into several pieces and lost its altitude,” he said, adding US and South Korean officials were studying the trajectory.

North Korean officials had no immediate comment Friday on reports of the launch.

US officials said the rocket came down between 190 km to 210 km off the west coast of South Korea. Military vessels and helicopters are already trying to locate its debris.

US officials who spoke on condition of anonymity also told US-based news media that the rocket broke apart within earth’s atmosphere, not into space. They said that it broke apart just a minute after it was launched Friday morning, April 13. –

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