The US has said North Korea will face “serious consequences” after it launched a long-range rocket in defiance of international warnings.
Set off from the country’s west coast only two hours after an eight-day launch window opened on Sunday morning, Pyongyang insisted the action was part of a peaceful space programme and that it had successfully put a new Earth observation satellite into orbit.
But Susan Rice, US national security adviser, labelled the launch “reckless”.
“North Korea’s missile and nuclear weapons programs represent serious threats to our interests including the security of some of our closest allies and undermine peace and security in the broader region,” she said in a statement.
“We condemn today’s launch and North Korea’s determination to prioritise its missile and nuclear weapons programs over the well-being of its people, whose struggles only intensify with North Korea’s diversion of scarce resources to such destabilising activities.”