In direct defiance of international pressure to cease pursuing advanced weaponry, North Korea launched a multistage rocket on Friday at 7:30 a.m. local time. While the rocket launch was not televised on live television, the South Korean Ministry of National Defense did confirm that the North had indeed launched the rocket.
The rocket’s flight trajectory was allegedly intended to carry the third stage of the multistage rocket into space, at least these were the plans outlined by North Korea, in an attempt to send a satellite into space at a time which coincides with the 100th anniversary of Kim II Sung, the founder of North Korea. Kim’s anniversary is the same day as his birthday, April 15th.
The United States and other countries have perceived the self-proclaimed satellite launch as a guise under which N. Korea intends on exploring long-range missile technology which they are actively developing.
While North Korea rejected the demands of the U.S. and other countries intent on stopping the missile launch, N. Korean officials instead decided to invite roughly 50 foreign journalists into their highly controlled country in order to view the satellite and multistage rocket would allegedly carry it into space. Leaders of countries opposed to the launch claimed that the launch violated United Nations Security Council restrictions, but N. Korea simply followed through with their agenda as planned.
About 90 seconds into the rocket’s flight, the rocket emitted a bright flare and then apparently exploded! Parts of the rocket fell into the water around S. Korea’s Juju Island during what should have been roughly the time the first stage would have detached as the second kicked in.
United States President Barack Obama recently visited Seoul and claimed that N. Korea would likely be forced to endure tougher economic sanctions were they to launch the rocket, which they did despite Obama’s claims of economic sanctions. President Obama was quoted at the time having said:
“Every time North Korea has violated a Security Council resolution it’s resulted in further isolation, tightening of sanctions. I suspect that will happen this time as well.”
Obama’s words appear to indicate his ability to foresee the North Korean’s decision to continue with their rocket launch as planned. Other United States officials said that the recent launch would force the United States to halt plans to provide food assistance to the world’s only communist dynasty.
Pyongyang officials argue that they have not agreed to any restrictions regarding the launch of a space vehicle, though they have agreed not to test a missile.
What do you think, has North Korea held up to their part of the agreement?
North Korea Missile Launch Video: