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North Korea reaches space


This morning, North Korea announced that it had successfully launched an Unha-3 rocket carrying a small satellite into orbit. Claims of success are nothing new for the regime, but this time, NORAD (the US-Canadian defence radar network) confirmed that the nation had succeeded in placing a small object into orbit.

The launch is the fourth attempt since 1998 by the North Koreans to place a satellite into orbit. The latest tracking data show it in roughly the right place, along with two other small objects. An amateur astronomer in Australia seems to have caught the first faint image of the satellite streaking across the sky.

The United States is describing the act as “highly provocative“, and Japan has called for an emergency session of the UN Security Council. And this may not be the end of North Korean trouble-making — South Korean intelligence indicates that their neighbours may be preparing another nuclear test for early 2013.



  1. Report this comment

    Jean SmilingCoyote said:

    I am well aware of the threat North Korea’s government poses to many other nations, including my own (USA), but was dismayed to hear the strong criticisms of this launch from governments in the USA, Japan, and others. I would have preferred the public comments to be something dealing with the mere facts as we know them, saying non-provocative things like “Congratulations on your successful launch; we look forward to your nation’s progress in science and technology.” No, I’m not trying to give aid and comfort to a nation my own considers very dangerous (not to mention lethal to many of its own citizens); I just think a small bit of carefully contained respect would have been decent – and very surprising to the government of North Korea, which is used to endless negativity from most others. We can address the potential threat from this launch on another day, in another context.

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