North Korea Launches Rocket Despite Warnings

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The U.S. and South Korea are disputing North Korea’s claim of a successful satellite launch, saying the rogue nation’s rocket broke apart and splashed down into the water.

North Korean media says the satellite is in orbit chirping music and data back to Earth. The U.S., however, says the rocket never reached orbit, instead falling into the waters between Korea and Japan. It says the two other stages, and its payload, landed in the Pacific Ocean.

President Barack Obama is calling the launch a “provocation,” that “underscores the need for action.” The U.N. has called an emergency Security Council session for later today.

The launch comes just days before North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Il presides over the first session of the country’s new parliament in his first major public appearance since reportedly suffering a stroke last August.