The hunt is on today for debris from a failed North Korean rocket launch.

South Korean warships have fanned out across the Yellow Sea to look for pieces of the rocket which disintegrated just moments after liftoff Thursday.

The launch brought humiliation to the country's new young leader and condemnation from a host of nations. It also produced a rare public acknowledgment of failure from Pyongyang, which had hailed the launch as a show of strength amid North Korea's persistent economic hardship. The U.N. Security Council deplored the launch but stopped short of imposing new penalties in response.

For the 20-something Kim Jong Un, it was to have been a highlight of the celebratory events surrounding his ascension to top political power. It was timed to coincide with the country's biggest holiday in decades, the 100th birthday of North Korean founder Kim Il Sung.


(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)