North Korea (officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea or DPRK) declared in 2009 that it had developed a nuclear weapon, and is widely believed to possess a small stockpile of relatively simple nuclear weapons. The CIA assesses that North Korea also has a substantial arsenal of chemical weapons.
On December 12, North Korea successfully launched a rocket to put a working satellite into orbit. According to Pyongyang, the launch is "an important occasion of putting the country's technology for the use of space for peaceful purposes on a new, higher stage". The United States and its Northeast Asian allies, however, see the launch as a cover for a ballistic missile test in violation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.
After reading the some different sources about North Korea's launch, I hope this Knowledge Card helped educated your view. I admit, I was naive and was afraid from the news about North Korea's rocket launch, but scientifically, the altitude at which the rocket went hopefully proves to other countries that North Korea is moving toward a different path. Time will only tell,and we would have to wait and see what their next plans are.
North Korea is also losing business in Myanmar, which has committed to cutting military dealings with Pyongyang as a price for improved relations with the West.
"North Korea has a track record of conducting nuclear tests following missile launches whose aim was to develop a delivery system for nuclear warheads."
North Korea announced on Dec. 1 that it would launch the rocket, called the Unha-3, sometime between Monday and Dec. 22. But on Sunday it said it might have to postpone the launching[.]
U.S. analysts say the North Koreans' main goal was not to put a satellite into orbit, but just to see all three stages of their rocket work, to show that the rocket could carry its payload a long distance.
The goal of a space launch vehicle is to insert payloads into orbit and to do so they must perform two functions...Ballistic missiles, on the other hand, have a different goal: to deliver a payload to another spot on the Earth.
There have been many discrepancy about the issue of North Korean's rocket launch: Was it really to send a satallite into orbit, or to test an offensive missle to be launched at other countries. In summary, the altitude is the key information to determine between the motive of the rocket launch. The higher the altitude, the more likely the launch was to send a satellite into orbit. The lower the altitude, the more likely the launch was to fire a warhead missle to other countries. This was an interesting fact that changed my point of view of North Korea's launch.
[T]he Pyongyang government claimed was a three-stage rocket bid to send an observational satellite into space – was widely condemned for blatantly violating UN Security Council resolutions which ban North Korea from using nuclear and missile technology that could facilitate the firing of long-range rockets.
The exploration and use of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all countries, irrespective of their degree of economic or scientific development, and shall be the province of all mankind.
Outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, shall be free for exploration and use by all States without discrimination of any kind, on a basis of equality and in accordance with international law, and there shall be free access to all areas of celestial bodies.
There shall be freedom of scientific investigation in outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, and States shall facilitate and encourage international co-operation in such investigation.
North Korea is banned from testing such technology under United Nations resolutions, and sanctions have been imposed over its previous tests.
North Korea’s position is that it is simply exercising its rights to peaceful exploration and use of outer space in accordance with the rights given to all nations under Article I the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, to which it is a Party.