The U.S. military says the North Korean the first stage of the missile fell into the Yellow Seal, while the other two stages failed.
North American Aerospace Defense Command officials say the U.S. detected and tracked the launch of the North Korean missile at 6:39 p.m. EDT. NORAD says the missile went south over the Yellow Sea about 165 kilometers west of Seoul. Stages two and three failed and no debris fell on land.
NORAD says the missile and the debris were never a threat.
Pyongyang says the Unha-3 rocket was meant to send a satellite into orbit to study crops and weather patterns, while the U.S. and other believe it to be a cover to test missile technology.