The US says it is not sure what it is that North Korea launched into space on December 11. China expresses regret. South Koreans protest.
From MSNBC (12/12/2012; part, emphasis is mine):
North Korean satellite 'tumbling out of control,' US officials say
The object that North Korea sent into space on Wednesday appears to be “tumbling out of control” as it orbits the earth, U.S. officials told NBC News.
The officials said that it is indeed some kind of space vehicle, but they still haven’t been able to determine exactly what the satellite is supposed to do.
In a statement, the White House said the rocket launch was a highly provocative act that threatens regional security and violates U.N. resolutions.
The United Nations Security Council on Wednesday condemned the launch, calling it a "clear violation" of U.N. resolutions. A spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he "deplores" the launch.
North Korea is banned from conducting missile and nuclear tests, under the terms of U.N. sanctions imposed after a series of nuclear weapons tests in 2006 and 2009.
Missile warning systems detected the launch at 7:49 p.m. ET Tuesday. North American Aerospace Defense Command officials said in a statement that the initial indications were that the first stage fell into the Yellow Sea and the second stage fell into the Philippine Sea.
North Korea said the launch was an attempt to place a satellite into a pole-to-pole orbit. Pyongyang's official KCNA news agency said that the rocket was fired from the Sohae Satellite Launch Center on the secretive country's west coast, and that the Kwangmyongsong weather satellite went into orbit as planned.
But U.S. officials say the launch was a thinly veiled attempt to test a three-stage ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead as far as the U.S. West Coast.
Russia added its voice to the condemnation of the launch and also called on other nations to refrain from further escalating tensions.
"The new rocket launch carried out by North Korea flaunts the opinion of the international community, including calls from the Russian side," it said.
China, North Korea's only major diplomatic ally, said officials had urged Pyongyang not to go ahead with the launch, and expressed regret that it had taken place.
(Full article at the link)
MSNBC also has a video showing South Koreans protesting the "object" launch by North Korea: