Dec 11, 2012 8:25 PM by Kate Richards
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - South Korea says North Korea has fired a long-range rocket in a defiant move just days ahead of South Korea's presidential election.
It was the second rocket launch under leader Kim Jong Un. Kim took power following his father Kim Jong Il's death one year ago.
There are reports that the rocket debris has fallen into the seas off the coast of Japan, Philippines and the Korean Penninsula. A similar launch in April broke apart shortly after liftoff.
Officials at South Korea's Defense Ministry and its Joint Chiefs of Staff who confirmed the launch spoke anonymously because of department rules.
The United Nations, Washington, Seoul and others condemned Pyongyang for the launches. Washington calls them a cover to test technology for missiles that could be used to strike the United States.
North Korea says its putting a monitoring satellite into orbit.