Defying its neighbors and the U.S., North Korea launched a multistage rocket over Japan Sunday, according to published media reports.

President Obama said the action threatens the security of nations "near and far," the AP reported.

North Korea said the launch was a success, adding that the rocket delivered an experimental communications satellite into orbit, according to an AP report. But the U.S. military said no object entered orbit and that the rocket's first stage fell into the water between Korea and Japan while the second and third stages fell into the Pacific Ocean, the report added.

Although North Korea said the rocket was carrying a communications satellite, the U.S. and other nations had suspected that the planned launch was really a test of North Korea's long-range missile technology, the report said.

Obama and leaders from Japan and China had pressed North Korea not to launch the rocket in the days leading up to liftoff, saying it would threaten regional security, the report noted.

The U.N. Security Council approved an emergency session for Sunday afternoon, according to the AP.

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This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.