North Korea launched a long-range rocket on Sunday that passed over Japan, the government in Tokyo said, defying calls from world leaders to scrap a plan that has caused international alarm. The US State Department confirmed North Korea had launched the rocket but had no further details. South Koreas presidential Blue House would make a statement at 11:00 pm EDT, local TV said. Japan said the rockets second booster stage had splashed down in the Pacific Ocean, indicating the launch had been successful. The United States, South Korea and Japan say the launch is actually the test of a Taepodong-2 missile, which is designed to carry a warhead as far as Alaska.