North Korea launched a long-range rocket early Friday, U.S. officials confirmed.
The White House said it would issue a statement, NBC News reported.
The launch, which North Korea’s neighbors and the West say is a disguised ballistic missile test, will take a three-stage rocket over a sea separating the Korean peninsula from China before releasing a weather satellite into orbit when the third stage fires over waters near the Philippines.
Regional powers also worry it could be the prelude to another nuclear test, a pattern the hermit state set in 2009.
The South Korean Defense Ministry announced that North Korea fired the long range rocket around Friday morning around 7:38 a.m. and the success of the launch was being tracked by the joint military of South Korea and United States.