13/12/2012 09:30 GMT

North Korea Satellite 'Tumbling Out Of Control'

The object launched into space by North Korea's controversial rocket launch appears to be "tumbling out of control."

NBC News reports US officials saying the satellite, placed in orbit by the long range rocket launch on Wednesday, appeared erratic as it orbited the earth.

The rocket launch was in defiance of warnings from the UN and Washington. The US said it was a "highly provocative act that threatens regional security."

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A man watches TV screen showing a North Korean TV anchorwoman announcing the success of a rocket launch in South Korea

The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, said in a statement the rocket launch was a "clear violation" of UN Security Council resolution 1874.

The rocket was fired from the west coast Sohae Space Centre launch pad close to 10am local time, according to South Korean defence officials.

Pyongyang's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) announced on that the take off of the Unha-3 rocket, carrying a satellite intended for orbit, went off without a hitch.

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Religious figures in Seoul rally to denounce the launch on Wednesday

The launch risks further tension between North Korea and the international community.

According to the Japanese government, the rocket - carrying a satellite intended for orbit - passed over Okinawa shortly after launch, and was not intercepted.

North Korea announced their plans to test a rocket at the beginning of December, at the time interpreted as a deliberate attempt to rattle the United Nations and the Obama administration.

It had also been suggested that the country planned its latest launch to stoke controversy in South Korea - which holds its presidential elections on 19 December.

North Korea, under Kim Jong Un, has pledged to bolster its nuclear arsenal unless Washington scraps what Pyongyang calls a hostile policy.