Update: These are more details of the actual claimed space launch:
“The satellite is going round the earth along its elliptic orbit at the angle of inclination of 40.6 degrees at 490 km perigee and 1,426 km apogee. Its cycle is 104 minutes and 12 seconds.”
Whether the D.P.R.K. successfully achieved an actual space launch is a sideshow. I am unaware of any international law that prohibits a country from launching satellites, successfully or not, into Earth orbit. Certainly the Outer Space Treaty, the L.T.B.T. and N.P.T. do not preclude such activity. I find it ironic the nuclear-armed America denounces a satellite test but has not taken any action to cease its own “space” launches and other planetary ASAT activities. In fact N.A.S.A. is just another off budget Pentagon cash cow–an ersatz “Space Command” in which primarily military officers fly and engage in futile space colonisation.
It is the usual American empire asserting its rights of global pursuit of national security but demanding its adversaries not seek their own defence through military modernisation. If the United States were truly serious about acheiving a settlement of the Korean War, it would remove its roughly 35-40,000 troops along the D.M.Z. Will President Barack Hussein Obama, bring the troops home or will he persist in “containment” of the D.P.R.K. while giving lip-service to the six-party talks?
Most sources that are not anti-Asian are convinced the D.P.R.K. does not possess deployed nuclear weapons. They may have enriched enough isotopic Uranium 235 to manufacture fissile material for a bomb but it is questionable they have either weaponised much less deployed a nuclear weapon. They obviously do not have armed missiles; whether they have gravity bombs that can be sortied on an aging MIG is also very problematic.
Kim Jong Il Observes Launch of Satellite Kwangmyongsong-2
Pyongyang, April 5 (KCNA) — General Secretary Kim Jong Il visited the General Satellite Control and Command Centre to watch the process of launching the experimental communications satellite Kwangmyongsong-2 on Sunday. He acquainted himself with the preparations made for the satellite launch.
After being briefed on the satellite launch, he observed the whole process of the satellite launch at the centre.
At 11:20 a.m. the satellite Kwangmyongsong-2, a shining product of self-reliance, soared into space by carrier rocket Unha-2. It was smoothly and accurately put into its orbit 9 minutes and 2 seconds after being completely separated from the carrier rocket.
Expressing great satisfaction over the fact that scientists and technicians of the DPRK successfully launched the satellite with their own wisdom and technology, he highly appreciated their feats and extended thanks to them.
It is a striking demonstration of the might of our Juche-oriented science and technology that our scientists and technicians developed both the multistage carrier rocket and the satellite with their own wisdom and technology 100 percent and accurately put the satellite into orbit at one go, he noted, repeatedly praising the patriotic devotion of the scientists and technicians who are playing a vanguard role in the drive to open the gate to a great prosperous and powerful nation.
Stressing the need to bring about a new turn in conquering outer space and making a peaceful use of it on the basis of the successful launch of the satellite Kwangmyongsong-2, he set forth the important tasks to be fulfilled to do so.
He met with the scientists and technicians who have contributed to the satellite launch by devoting all their wisdom and enthusiasm with ardent patriotism and warmly encouraged them before having a photograph taken with them.
He was accompanied by Secretary Jon Pyong Ho and First Vice-Department Director Ju Kyu Chang of the WPK Central Committee.