The United States has canceled a proposed food aid deal with North Korea following over its attempt to launch a long-range rocket taking a satellite into orbit. Senior administration officials told NBC News the deal with Pyongyang is off after the rocket was fired. … “We are not going forward with an agreement to provide them with any assistance,” White House National Security Council spokesman Ben Rhodes told reporters traveling with President Barack Obama to Florida. He added that the U.S. and its allies will “take additional steps” if there are more “provocative actions.” – MSNBC
Both the Pentagon and the South Korean defense ministry have confirmed that the rocket was launched at 7:39am Seoul time, or 6:49pm Washington, D.C. time; a spokesman for the South Korean defense ministry said that a few minutes after the launch the rocket had broken up and crashed into the sea. North Korea hasn’t commented yet, either through official channels or the usually feisty (and congratulatory) Korean Central News Agency of the DPRK. – Foreign Policy
Reuters reports the embarrassment might lead to North Korea going nuclear in the next test.
“The possibility of an additional long-range rocket launch or a nuclear test, as well as a military provocation to strengthen internal solidarity is very high,” a senior South Korean defense ministry official told a parliamentary hearing.