SEOUL, April 13 (Xinhua) -- South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan said Friday the Democratic People's Republic Korea (DPRK) will have to "take responsibility" for the failed long-range rocket launch, which breached a UN ban.
The 90-ton Unha-3 rocket was launched at 7:39 a.m. (2239 GMT Thursday)from the Tongchang-ri launch site but shortly broke into multiple pieces and fell into a sea, according to the South Korean defense ministry.
Reports say the rocket seems to have landed in waters some 200 km off South Korea's western port city of Gunsan.
So far, the DPRK has neither confirmed nor denied the launch.
Pyongyang has said the launch of a rocket-mounted satellite is to mark the birth centennial on April 15 of the country's founding father Kim Il Sung.
It has said the rocket launch is for peaceful purposes and would "not affect" other countries.
Seoul and Washington, among others, see it as a disguised long-range ballistic missile test that runs counter to a UN Security Council resolution and a recent food aid deal between Pyongyang and Washington under which the former halts nuclear and missile tests.
"North Korea (DPRK)'s long-range missile launch is a clear violation of UN Security Council resolution 1874 banning all launches using ballistic-missile technology, and is a provocative act that threatens peace and security of the Korean peninsula and the Northeast Asia," South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan said in a statement following a National Security Council meeting involving President Lee Myung-bak.
"North Korea will have to take responsibility (for the launch)," Kim said, adding the government is seeking a "comprehensive response" to potential nuclear and missile threats posed by its northern neighbor.
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