The North Koreans say they launched their Unha-3 with the goal of putting a weather satellite in orbit. CNN is quoting “U. S. officials” as saying that the launch failed because the rocket fell apart shortly after launch.
UPDATE—The WSJ reports:
About 90 seconds into flight, roughly the time its first stage should have burned out and second stage kicked in, the rocket flared brightly and apparently exploded, according to ABC News, which cited U.S. defense officials. Parts fell into water near South Korea’s Jeju Island, South Korean media reported.
UPDATE 2—”The rocket’s name Unha means ‘Milky Way,'” Tom snickered.
UPDATE 3—Allahpundit is collecting reports from several sources. He notes that the Security Council should meet tomorrow “to issue the obligatory strongly-worded statement.”