By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press
North Korean state media are acknowledging the country

FILE - In this April 5, 2009 image made from KRT video, a rocket is lifted off from its launch pad in Musudan-ri, North Korea. As the U.S. and its allies decry North Korea's planned rocket launch, they're also rushing to capitalize on the rare opportunity it presents to assess the secretive nation's ability to strike beyond its shores. (AP Photo/KRT via AP Video, File) NORTH KOREA OUT, TV OUT

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) -- The statement of the failed launch Friday came after U.S. and South Korean officials said the North's much-anticipated rocket launch ended quickly in failure earlier in the day.

The U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command says the first stage fell into the sea 165 kilometers (100 miles) west of Seoul, while stages two and three failed.

The U.S., South Korea, and other countries call the launch a cover for a test of missile technology.

North Korea says it's part of a peaceful effort to send a satellite into space to commemorate the anniversary of its founder's birth.

North Korea's attempted launch defied international warnings against moving forward with what was widely seen as a provocation.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff in Seoul, citing South Korean and U.S. intelligence, says liftoff took place at 7:39 a.m. from the west coast launch pad in the hamlet of Tongchang-ri. The West has condemned the launch as a cover for a missile test.

Japan's Defense Minister Naiki Tanaka said there was no impact on Japanese territory from the launch. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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