North Korea's much-heralded missile launch was a failure yesterday, but the White House still condemned what it felt was a provocative act by the rogue state.
North Korea said it wanted to launch a rocket to put a weather satellite into orbit, but it is widely viewed as a military operation and a dangerous one at that.
The country hasn't been shy about posturing toward the U.S., and many saw the launch - before its failure anyway - as a veiled threat against Washington.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said North Korea's rocket launch was a provocative act that left the nation isolated and in violation of international law:
"Despite the failure of its attempted missile launch, the action threatens security, violates international law and contravenes its own recent commitments."
"While this action is not surprising given North Korea's pattern of aggressive behavior, any missile activity is of concern to the international community.""The United States remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations, and is fully committed to the security (of) our allies in the region."
Analysts believe the launch was designed to enhance its capacity to design a ballistic missile armed with a nuclear warhead capable of hitting the U.S.
The White House alluded to North Korea's chronic food shortages but did not say if it would follow through on a tentative deal to provide food aid.
North Korea had actually trumpeted the launch and tried to draw attention to it as a show of strength, its first such display since Kim Jong Il died.
Better luck next time. Or not.