OTTAWA - Canada is strongly condemning North Korea's launch of a long-range rocket, calling it reckless and provocative.

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird says the North's actions "clearly demonstrate its wilful defiance of its international obligations"

In a statement issued late Tuesday, Baird added that the regime in Pyongyang is a grave threat to the security and stability of the region and beyond.

Baird says with this latest launch, the regime has once again shown total disregard for its people by choosing to fund military and nuclear programs while the basic needs of the population go unmet.

He also urged North Korea to live up to its international obligations.

About two hours after the launch, North Korea's state media proclaimed it a success, prompting celebrations across the capital.

The North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) later confirmed that North Korea did appear to have put an object into space.

The United Nations, as well as the U.S. and its allies see the launch as cover for a test of technology for missiles.

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  • A North Korean woman works in a field in North Phyongan Province, North Korea on Thursday, June 14, 2012. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

  • North Koreans cross a bridge outside of Pyongyang, North Korea on Thursday, June 14, 2012. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

  • A village in North Korea's North Phyongan Province is reflected in a river on Thursday, June 14, 2012. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

  • North Korean farmers work in a rice paddy on the outskirts of Pyongyang, North Korea on Thursday, June 14, 2012. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

  • North Korean women work on a roadside in North Phyongan Province, North Korea on Thursday, June 14, 2012. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

  • The Huichon No. 2 Power Station dams the Chongchon River in Huichon, North Korea on Thursday, June 14, 2012. North Korean officials said the massive hydroelectric power plant unveiled two months ago now has the capacity to provide Pyongyang with half its energy needs. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

  • Workers clean the area around an etching that reads "If the General (Kim Jong Il) decides on something, we'll carry it out!" on a rock face next to Huichon No. 2 Power Station in Huichon, North Korea on Thursday, June 14, 2012. North Korean officials said the massive hydroelectric power plant unveiled two months ago now has the capacity to provide Pyongyang with half its energy needs. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)