White House: North Korean missile launch a threat to security

The White House said on Thursday that North Korea's missile launch early Friday morning is "of concern to the international community" and "threatens regional security and violates international law."

Even though the launch of the long-range rocket inevitably failed, separating to pieces after reportedly flying for just over a minute, the action "contravenes" the country's recent commitments, White House press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement on Thursday evening.

"While this action is not surprising given North Korea's pattern of aggressive behavior, any missile activity by North Korea is of concern to the international community," Carney said, adding that the United States "remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations" and is "fully committed" to allies in the region.

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In recent days, North Korea warned it would carry out the launch of the rocket, which officials there say carted a satellite, saying it would mark the 100th birth anniversary of North Korea's founder, Kim Il Sung.

In the statement, Carney said while Obama has reiterated that he will "engage constructively" with North Korea, he would like to see the country "live up to its own commitments" and comply with international obligations. The statement does not mention any kind of retaliatory response.

"North Korea is only further isolating itself by engaging in provocative acts, and is wasting its money on weapons and propaganda displays while the North Korean people go hungry," Carney said. "North Korea's long-standing development of missiles and pursuit of nuclear weapons have not brought it security – and never will."