The United States will take appropriate steps in response to the launch of a rocket by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the State Department said Saturday, according to Xinhua.
The launch occurred at 0230 GMT Saturday, said State Department spokesman Fred Lash, adding that the United States views the launch as "a provocative act."
The launch will "prompt the United States to take appropriate steps to let North Korea know that it cannot threaten the safety and security of (other) countries with impunity," the spokesman told reporters in a conference call.
The DPRK's "development, deployment and proliferation of missiles, ballistic missile-related materials, equipment and technologies pose a serious threat to the northeast Asia region and to the international community," Lash said.
Japan, South Korea and Russia have also confirmed the launch, with South Korean and Russian officials saying the rocket was apparently carrying a satellite.
The DPRK said earlier it would launch a communication satellite as part of a peaceful space program between April 4 and 8. But it has not yet given any official statement on the launch.