North Korea's much-anticipated satellite launch ended in failure today with the rocket plopping into the Yellow Sea.
It was fired from the Sohae Satellite Launching Station on the country's west coast but quickly broke apart.
State media reported that it had "failed to enter its preset orbit" and North Korea's scientists would try to figure out why.
The Unha-3, or Galaxy-3, rocket was meant to send a satellite into orbit to study crops and weather patterns.
Officials said that it would not harm the region or neighbouring countries.
But the US and its allies claimed it was really a missile technology test and as such broke international resolutions that bar Pyongyang from developing its nuclear and missile programmes.
The UN security council convened an emergency session this afternoon to discuss possible responses.
China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin called for calm.
"We hope all relevant parties can maintain calm and restraint, and refrain from acts that would harm peace and stability on the peninsula and in the region," he said.
South Korea lambasted the launch attempt and Foreign Minister Kim Sung Hwan said it was "a clear violation of UN security council resolution 1874 banning all launches using ballistic-missile technology."
Pyongyang "will have to take responsibility for the launch," he insisted.
The launch was monitored by the US, Japanese and South Korean militaries.
US navy ships in the area are expected to begin searching for debris that could offer clues about what went wrong and how advanced North Korea's rocket technology is.
South Korea has also struggled to launch satellites, with high-profile failures in 2009 and 2010.