North Korea Eyes Nuke Test as Satellite Orbits Normally
Pyongyang unveils photos of launch as world slams the move
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Dec 13, 2012 3:56 AM CST
South Korean protesters tear pictures of Kim Jong Un, Kim Jong Il, and Kim Il Sung, the late founder of North Korea, during a rally denouncing the rocket launch, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012.   (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

(Newser) – Despite initial reports that North Korea's successfully launched rocket was "tumbling out of control," South Korea now says that it's orbiting normally, though what the space vehicle's purpose is or if it's functioning remains unclear, reports Fox News. Meanwhile, the world is lining up to slam the launch, with even Pyongyang ally China piling on. Kim Jong Un "knows the stakes are high ... and it is really what he does next that matters," says a US official. Pyongyang appeared indifferent, proudly releasing photos of the launch, as Reuters reports that it's eying a nuclear test.

"If sanctions get toughened, the likelihood of North Korea carrying out a nuclear test is high," says an analyst. It would be the country's third such test; one in 2009 came just a month after a previous rocket launch. Satellite photos reveal the country improving access to nuclear testing grounds. The UN Security Council still seems to think it can prevent new tests, Reuters notes. But the North may be looking for "negotiations aimed at slowing down or freezing, but not reversing," the programs, an expert says. In that case, "the US ... will have to provide generous 'aid' as a reward for North Koreans' willingness to slow down."

View 3 more images
More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
North Korean Satellite 'Out of Control': US is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 23 comments
Dec 13, 2012 9:13 AM CST
if we are such loving peapoles,then why do they hate us??
Dec 13, 2012 8:15 AM CST
WHAT? --- As usual Obama and his Intelligence Team, didn't have any intelligence that North Korea was launching it's rocket until they launched it. --- First the Obama Intelligence Team said the North Koreans were going to launch it, then they took it apart, and they still had troubles with it, and they were delaying the launch, and then was taken completely by surprise when North Korea launched it. --- It took 5 other countries to confirm it, because Team Obama still couldn't believe it. --- Obama and his Intelligence Team of morons, idiots, and imbeciles, are the only one's "tumbling out of control" ------- REALLY
Dec 13, 2012 7:05 AM CST
Did South Korea just indicate this is a joint venture between NK and SK? Does NK see a growth industry in nuclear arms? How would that change their financial picture? Perhaps the arab countries will purchase one or two and now the israeli's will have to negotiate for real peace. perhaps that is why the US and israel is fermenting the arab spring. the new factions are under US/israeli control