SEOUL -- North Korea launched a long-range rocket Wednesday morning in defiance of international warnings that the second test-firing of a missile this year would violate international sanctions.
The Japanese government said Wednesday that debris from North Korea's long-range rocket fell into waters off the Philippines at 10:05 a.m. after passing over Okinawa.
Pyongyang fired the Unha-3 rocket at 9:51 a.m., Seoul's defense ministry said earlier in the day.
Japan didn't order its military to intercept the North Korean rocket, according to officials.
Shortly after the North's defiant launch, the Japanese government convened an emergency meeting of security-related ministers.
"It appears that the first stage was successful, the question is whether the second and third stage separated,'' said a military analyst in Seoul.
In announcing last week that the launch would be made between Dec. 10 and Dec. 22, North Korea described the mission as a peaceful test of its ability to put a satellite in orbit. The U.S., South Korea and other nations, however, condemned the planned firing as a brazen attempt to demonstrate Pyongyang’s ability to reach U.S. territory with a nuclear warhead.