North Korea on Thursday launched a long-range ballistic missile, as it had told the world it intended to do, but the multi-stage rocket failed, said US and North American Aerospace Defense Command officials. The missile lifted off at 6:39 p.m. US East Coast time, said NORAD in a release. “US systems detected and tracked” the missile as it flew on a southerly trajectory over the Yellow Sea, according to the release. “Initial indications are that the first stage of the missile fell into the sea 165 kilometers west of Seoul,” it stated. “The remaining stages were assessed to have failed and no debris fell on land.” NORAD referred to the missile as a Taepo Dong-2. It said at no time were the missile and resultant debris a threat. Despite the missile’s failure, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney called the launch a “provocative action” that “threatens regional security, violates international law, and contravenes [North Korea’s] own recent commitments.” (Includes AFPS report by Cheryl Pellerin) (See also Associated Press report and Group of Eight foreign ministers’ statement.)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.