North Korea Launches Missile After 4 Failed Attempts

White House calls nation's first successful launch a "highly provocative act."
2:41 | 12/12/12

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Transcript for North Korea Launches Missile After 4 Failed Attempts
other story breaking overnight. North korea launched a long-range missile. Its first successful attempt in five tries, with rockets powerful enough to reach our shores. That's sparking a sharp response from the white house. Martha raddatz, this launch caught officials by surprise. Reporter: It did, indeed, george. That shows how little we know about this country. North korea has been trying to successfully launch a missile like this for well over a decade. North korea is not threatening to strike the u.S. But remember, north korea is a nuclear-armed country, unstable, secretive. And this is a significant step closer to being able to put a nuclear weapon on a long-range missile. The news was announced overnight, with great fanfare on north korean tv. An excited broadcaster calling the rocket launch a glorious success. This morning, america's aerospace defense command, norad, confirms it was a long-range galaxy 3 rocket, like this one. The most powerful the nation has ever launched. And a major step in its weapons program. What the north koreans have done with this launch is demonstrate the technological capability to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile, a long way. Potentially threatening the west coast of the united states. Reporter: The three-stage rocket was able to launch an object into low-level orbit. The north koreans say it was a satellite. But the u.S. Believes it was testing the capability to carry a warhead. Until now, north korea has attempted by failed four launches. Gloria riviera was in south korea when the announcement was made. Here, the rocket launch broke with urgent news bulletins. It touched a raw nerve. One man told us, he thinks the north koreans should be exiled from earth. The two countries are still, after all, officially at war. Reporter: This morning, international response condemning the launch is unified. The white house calling it, a highly-provocative act that threatens regional security. The north koreans are still ars away from having the capability to launch a nuclear warhead. But this morning, it is clearer than ever that north korea's new leader, kim jong-un will continue his father'sge of pursuing the technology. Let's get the other top stories from josh. Good morning to both of you

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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