The statement added, "North Korea is only further isolating itself by engaging in provocative acts, and is wasting its money on weapons and propaganda displays while the North Korean people go hungry."
"This was supposed to be associated with (Kim Jong Un's) ascension to power. So for this thing to fail ... is incredibly embarrassing," said Victor Cha, former director of Asian affairs for the U.S. National Security Council and now a Georgetown University professor.
Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said the rocket remained in the air for slightly more than a minute and did not affect Japanese territory.
After the failure, the Japanese government held a security meeting.
The launch occurred at 7:39 a.m. Friday, NORAD said.
Immediately afterward, the South Korean military dispatched helicopters and ships in an attempt to find debris related to the rocket launch, according to YTN.
International leaders had urged North Korea to cancel the launch, but Pyongyang refused to back down, insisting the operation is for peaceful purposes.
In Washington, White House spokesman Jay Carney had said the launch would be a "significant and clear demonstration of bad faith" on the part of the North, making it impossible for the United States to follow through on the food-aid deal.
South Korea described the planned move as a "grave provocation" and said it would respond with "appropriate countermeasures." Meanwhile, the Philippines and South Korea ordered commercial planes and fishing boats to stay clear of the rocket's proposed path.
"This launch will give credence to the view that North Korean leaders see improved relations with the outside world as a threat to the existence of their system," U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said this week. "And recent history strongly suggests that additional provocations may follow."
A recent report from South Korean intelligence officials said that North Korea is planning a new nuclear test in the area where it staged previous atomic blasts.
The South Korean intelligence report noted that the two previous rocket launches that Pyongyang said were intended to put satellites into orbit were followed a few weeks or months later by nuclear tests.
The last time Pyongyang carried out what it described as a satellite launch, in April 2009, the U.N. Security Council condemned the action and demanded that it not be repeated.
That rocket traveled 2,300 miles before its third stage fell into the Pacific Ocean.
And in 2006, a missile failed after about 40 seconds into flight.
Vitaly Churkin, Russia's U.N. ambassador, told reporters outside the Security Council chambers that members don't have "clear agreement" about what steps to take if the launch goes ahead. "But one thing I can tell you: We have unanimity of understanding that if it were to happen, that would be a clear violation of two Security Council resolutions."
And Rice warned, "Every time they go down a path such as this, their isolation intensifies, the needs of their people increase and they become more and more out of the bounds of the international community. That will be the case if they do so."
Meanwhile, Chinese Ambassador Li Baodong said countries need "to do everything possible to defuse tension rather than inflame the situation there." China is North Korea's leading ally.
The launch came amid North Korean preparations to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il Sung, the founder of North Korea who ruled the Communist state for more than four decades. His birthday on April 15, known as the "Day of the Sun," is a key public holiday.
On Wednesday, North Korea's ruling Workers' Party held a special conference that helped firm up the position of Kim's grandson, Kim Jong Un, the secretive state's new leader.