North Koreans wave flowers at an unveiling ceremony for statues of the late leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang, North Korea, Friday, April 13, 2012. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — North Korea’s much-touted satellite launch ended in a nearly $1 billion failure, bringing humiliation to the country’s new young leader and condemnation from a host of nations. The United Nations Security Council deplored the launch but stopped short of imposing new penalties in response.
The rocket’s disintegration Friday over the Yellow Sea brought a rare public acknowledgment of failure from Pyongyang, which had hailed the launch as a show of strength amid North Korea’s persistent economic hardship.
For the 20-something Kim Jong Un it was to have been a highlight of the celebratory events surrounding his ascension to top political power. It was timed to coincide with the country’s biggest holiday in decades, the 100th birthday of North Korean founder Kim Il Sung, the young leader’s grandfather.
The United States and South Korea declared the early morning launch a failure minutes after the rocket shot out from the North’s west coast. North Korea acknowledged its demise four hours later in an announcement broadcast on state TV, saying the satellite the rocket was carrying did not enter orbit.
The launch brought swift international condemnation, including the suspension of U.S. food aid, and raised concerns Login to read more