Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

N. Korea's satellite 'orbiting normally': South
by Staff Writers
Seoul (AFP) Dec 13, 2012

S. Korea seeks to recover N. Korea rocket debris
Seoul (AFP) Dec 13, 2012 - South Korea's navy has launched a salvage operation in the Yellow Sea to retrieve debris from North Korea's long-range rocket launch, military officials said Thursday.

The first stage of the North's Unha-3 rocket launched on Wednesday fell in the sea off the Korean peninsula, while the second splashed down east of the Philippines.

"Our navy discovered what appeared to be a part from the first stage of North Korea's rocket in the Yellow Sea Wednesday afternoon," a defence ministry spokesman told AFP.

"A salvage operation is now under way to retrieve it," he said, declining to give details.

The chunk of the debris was found on the sea bed, some 160 kilometers (100 miles) west of the southwestern port of Gunsan, Yonhap news agency said, at a depth of around 80 meters (260 feet).

Before its last rocket launch attempt in April -- which ended in failure -- North Korea had warned both Japan and South Korea that any effort to salvage debris from the rocket would be considered an "act of war".

The warning was not repeated before Wednesday's launch.

Pyongyang said its latest launch was a purely scientific mission aimed at placing a polar-orbiting earth observation satellite in space.

Most of the world saw it as a disguised ballistic missile test that violates UN resolutions imposed after the North's nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009.

The UN Security Council has condemned the launch and warned of possible measures over what the US called a "highly provocative" act.

The satellite launched by North Korea's long-range rocket is in operational orbit, South Korea's defence ministry said Thursday, confirming the apparent success of Pyongyang's stated space mission.

The satellite sent into space by the North's Unha-3 rocket on Wednesday, is "orbiting normally", ministry spokesman Kim Min-Seok told reporters.

"It is not yet known what kind of mission the satellite is conducting. It usually takes two weeks to evaluate whether a satellite is successful. For the time being, it is working normally," Kim said.

North Korea said Wednesday's launch was a purely scientific mission aimed at placing a polar-orbiting earth observation satellite in space.

Most of the world saw it as a disguised ballistic missile test that violates UN resolutions imposed after the North's nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009.

For the international community, the precise nature of the satellite -- along with the question of whether it is operating properly -- is largely immaterial.

The main concern is that the rocket succeeded in delivering its payload successfully, marking an important step forward for Pyongyang's long-range missile programme.

Analysis by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute showed the satellite was moving between 494 and 588 kilometres above the Earth -- nearly in line with the figures announced by the North on Wednesday-- Yonhap news agency said.

The UN Security Council has condemned the launch and warned of possible measures over what the US called a "highly provocative" act.

The council made it clear it considered the North had used proscribed "ballistic missile technology" and highlighted a warning made after a failed launch in April that it could take "action" if there was a new attempt.

N. Korea rocket launch casts shadow over South election
Seoul (AFP) Dec 13, 2012 - North Korea's rocket launch underscores national security issues in South Korea's looming presidential election, and challenges the two candidates' stated aim of closer engagement with Pyongyang.

Although analysts are divided about the impact of the launch on the actual outcome of the December 19 ballot, they largely agree that the eventual winner will now face new constraints in moulding his or her own North Korea policy.

The conventional wisdom suggests that the conservative front-runner Park Geun-Hye from the ruling New Frontier Party will benefit from any heightened public concern in the wake of Wednesday's launch.

Park is the daughter of South Korea's late military strongman Park Chung-Hee and her party is traditionally seen as strong on national security and North Korea in particular.

By contrast, the liberal opposition candidate, Moon Jae-In, is best known as a top aide in the administration of former president Roh Moo-Hyun who had pursued his predecessor's "sunshine policy" of engagement with North Korea.

"Overall the launch will work in favor of Park Geun-Hye," said Baek Seung-Joo of the Institute of Defense Analyses in Seoul.

"It will fan hostility and disappointment about the North under the leadership of Kim Jong-Un and will help boost the argument of conservative hawks in the South," Baek said.

Both candidates condemned the launch, with Park urging voters to remain calm and pick a leader with "a firm determination to guard our nation and sovereignty."

Some analysts however suggested the launch also provided Moon's camp with some ammunition, allowing it to cast doubts on the benefits of the ruling party's hardline stance on Pyongyang under outgoing President Lee Myung-Bak.

When Lee came to power in 2008 he cut off aid to the impoverished North, saying future food and other shipments would be conditional on progress in persuading Pyongyang to halt its nuclear programme.

But the policy had little success in bringing Pyongyang to heel.

In 2009 it carried out its second nuclear test, in 2010 it shelled a South Korean border island, and in April this year conducted a failed long-range rocket launch which was eventually followed by Wednesday's success.

"These are clear signs of security incompetency by the ruling camp," Moon said Wednesday, accusing Park's party and Lee's administration of intelligence failures in predicting the timing of the latest launch.

"Many voters are now sceptical about the current government's hardline policy toward Pyongyang," said Park Kie-Duck, a former president of the Sejong Institute think-tank in Seoul.

"Park Geun-Hye has accused the Sunshine Policy of the past liberal governments as appeasement, but it has also turned out that pressure and containment simply did not work," Park said.

Whatever spin the candidates place on the launch, most analysts agree the event will have little impact in determining the actual election outcome.

The majority of South Koreans, largely inured to the provocative acts of their communist neighbor, took the launch in their stride and are far more focused on issues like economic reform, job creation and welfare.

"The time has long passed when the so-called 'North Wind' had a sway over the South's election results," said Kim Neung-Gou of consulting company, Polinews.

The greater impact will be on the policies followed by the eventual winner of the ballot.

Both Park and Moon have signalled a desire for closer engagement with Pyongyang and even a possible summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, though Moon has gone further with a vow to resume aid without pre-conditions.

Lee Tai-Hwan, a researcher at the Sejong Institute, said whichever candidate enters the presidential Blue House would be constrained by global sentiment over Pyongyang's flouting of UN resolutions.

"They will certainly not abandon their current approaches wholesale just because of the rocket launch, but they will have less room to formulate policies on North Korea on their own," said Lee.

"Coordination with the international community, especially the United States and China, will be the top priority in dealing with North Korea for a while," he added.


Related Links
Military Space News at

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Global anger as N. Korea fires long-range rocket
Seoul (AFP) Dec 12, 2012
North Korea launched a long-range rocket Wednesday days before its young ruler marks 12 months in power, intensifying the threat posed by the nuclear-armed state and provoking global condemnation. The United States and its allies were infuriated and even China expressed "regret" at the successful launch by its wayward communist ally - while also calling on all sides to avoid "stoking the fl ... read more

NASA Gravity Probes Prepare to Hit the Moon

Apollo's Lunar Dust Data Being Restored

To the moon and back for less than 2 billion dollars

NASA's GRAIL Creates Most Accurate Moon Gravity Map

Opportunity Checking Out Some Rocks At Matijevic Hill

Curiosity Rover Nearing Yellowknife Bay

Charitum Montes: a cratered winter wonderland

Opportunity Continues Rock Studies

NASA Awards Commercial Crew Certification Contracts

China patent office becomes world's largest: WIPO

What happens to plant growth when you remove gravity?

Scientists say NASA's budget inadequate for its goals

Mr Xi in Space

China plans manned space launch in 2013: state media

China to launch manned spacecraft

Tiangong 1 Parked And Waiting As Shenzhou 10 Mission Prep Continues

Medical Ops, Fan Checks for Space Crew; New Trio Checks Soyuz

Khrunichev Completes Nauka Space Station Module

New Crew of ISS to Perform Two Spacewalks

Space Station to reposition for science

ISRO planning 10 space missions in 2013

Russia works to fix satellite's off-target orbit

ULA Launch Monopoly to End

SPACEX Awarded Two EELV Class Missions From The USAF

Astronomers discover and 'weigh' infant solar system

Search for Life Suggests Solar Systems More Habitable than Ours

Do missing Jupiters mean massive comet belts?

Brown Dwarfs May Grow Rocky Planets

Apple shares extend downward slide

Jury rules Apple iPhone violated MobileMedia patents

XTAR Wins $8 Million In New Business

Boeing, BMW Group to collaborate on carbon fiber recycling

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement