NBC news has reportedly confirmed the launch with the US government.
UPDATE 7:06pm ET — It now appears to have been confirmed from both the US government and South Korean government that the rocket was launched.
North Korean has claimed that the rocket is harmless is only being used to launch a satellite, but the US, Japan and South Korea don’t buy it and have all threatened to shoot the missile from the sky.
UPDATE: 7:11 pm ET — Here’s the planned flight path, via Zero Hedge, created by Lew Franklin and Dick Donald from Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation.
Yonhap quotes a South Korean official who says “we are now on the flight path”.
UPDATE 7:15pm EST — We’re seeing reports that the rocket has failed after 90 seconds, cited to ABC News.
UPDATE 7:17pm EST — CNN cites a US official who says the launch appears to have failed.
UPDATE 7:31pm EST — The rocket was launched at 7:39am local time. Still no official confirmation that the rocket has definitely failed.
UPDATE 7:37pm EST — CNN says missile apparently didn’t break atmosphere.
Meanwhile, response is brewing. South Korea is reportedly planning an emergency meeting of defense related ministers, Yonhap reports. A White House response is expected soon, and the UN Security Council is meeting tomorrow.
UPDATE 7:46pm EST — CNN says governments of US, South Korea and Japan have all said the rocket seems to have failed, with Japan saying it appears to have fallen apart after a minute.
UPDATE 8:29pm EST — If nothing else, looks like this launch may have ruined that food aid deal the US had set up with North Korea.
UPDATE 8.55pm EST — North Korean press and TV have not mentioned the rocket yet. North Korean Space Agency officials tell Reuters that they have no information, @Mpoppel tweets.
UPDATE 9:03 EST — Full white house statement below:
Statement by the Press Secretary on North Korea’s Missile Launch
Despite the failure of its attempted missile launch, North Korea’s provocative action threatens regional security, violates international law and contravenes its own recent commitments. While this action is not surprising given North Korea’s pattern of aggressive behavior, any missile activity by North Korea is of concern to the international community. The United States remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations, and is fully committed to the security our allies in the region.
The President has been clear that he is prepared to engage constructively with North Korea. However, he has also insisted that North Korea live up to its own commitments, adhere to its international obligations and deal peacefully with its neighbors.
North Korea is only further isolating itself by engaging in provocative acts, and is wasting its money on weapons and propaganda displays while the North Korean people go hungry. North Korea’s long-standing development of missiles and pursuit of nuclear weapons have not brought it security – and never will. North Korea will only show strength and find security by abiding by international law, living up to its obligations, and by working to feed its citizens, to educate its children, and to win the trust of its neighbors.