Forty minutes into a 5-day window, North Korea launched a rocket from a facility in the northwestern part of the country. The launch, at 7:39am local time, was first reported on U.S. cable news 14 minutes later by CNN’s John King. The news was followed minutes later on Fox News, CNBC World, Fox Business and, at 7:13pm, on MSNBC.
ABC News led the way on the broadcast networks not only reporting that the missile had launched, but during a network special at 7:09pmET, correspondent Martha Raddatz reported that the launch was a failure. ABC’s Diane Sawyer anchored the special and also got phone reports from Jake Tapper at the White House and Bob Woodruff in North Korea. “We don’t have a chance to see the actual video of this launching,” said Woodruff, adding “We were thinking they were going to show it live to us in the press room.”
Later in the evening, Engel went on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show to report he, and other correspondents only learned the news from colleagues stateside. “We were alerted by our own news desk,” said Engel, then telling what happened next:
We rushed into the press center, the only place that has internet, the only place that has computer access, and we saw our minder [who] said, “Are you ready? We’re going to go in a few hours to a music festival.” We said, “What music festival? There has just been a rocket launch.” We were met with a completely blank stare and he shrugged his shoulders and ran out of the room.