Up, up, and away: North Korea has launched its “space rocket”:http://www.totalwonkerr.net/1956/if-it-quacks-like-a-satellite. For real, “this time”:http://www.totalwonkerr.net/1963/japan-on-n-korean-launch-our-bad. The “instant report”:http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/05/world/asia/05korea.html of the _NY Times_ — most of which was presumably written beforehand — includes this striking tidbit.
While many analysts have looked at the launching through a military lens, some say another perspective involves political rivalries on the Korean peninsula. For years, South Korea has been gearing up to fire a satellite into orbit and join the space club. Its spaceport of Oinarodo is nearly ready, but a launching scheduled for this month was delayed, giving North Korea an opening.
“They’re racing to beat the South Koreans,” said Tim Brown, a senior fellow at “GlobalSecurity.org”:http://globalsecurity.org/, a private group in Alexandria, Va.
That’s probably just gravy, but regardless, it’s an in-your-face moment for the U.S., Japan, and South Korea, all at once.