North Korea fired a long-range rocket Wednesday morning in its second launch under its new leader, defying warnings from the U.N. and Washington only days before South Korean presidential elections.
North Korea declared the launch of a rocket and satellite a success, and state television broadcasted a brief report declaring as much on Wednesday.
South Korean and Japanese officials confirmed that liftoff took place Wednesday morning, while the United States did not immediately comment on it. A State Department official only said the U.S. is monitoring the situation. Each nation had been urging North Korea to refrain from a launch widely seen as a cover for a test of banned ballistic missile technology.