By Paul Armstrong, CNN
updated 8:39 PM EST, Tue December 11, 2012
Hong Kong (CNN) -- North Korea has carried out the launch of a long-range rocket, South Korea's Ministry of Defense said Wednesday.
"Shortly after the liftoff, Aegis radar system in the Yellow Sea detected the move," a senior military official was quoted by South Korea's semi-official Yonhap press agency as saying.
The Japanese government also told CNN by phone that it took place at 9.49 a.m. local time and passed over the island of Okinawa, though no action was taken to shoot it down.
The news comes as a surprise after North Korea announced Monday that it was extending the launch window into late December, citing technical issues in an engine. On Tuesday, satellite images purportedly showed the rocket being moved from the launch pad, Yonhap said.