North Korea's Satellite Is Flailing, Useless: US Official

It's tumbling in orbit over the poles, US official says
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 9, 2016 7:39 AM CST
North Korea's Satellite Is Flailing, Useless: US Official
An object believed to be a part of a North Korean rocket is displayed on a South Korean navy ship.   (South Korean Defense Ministry via AP)

North Korea's long-range rocket achieved its supposed goal of getting a satellite into space over the weekend. It was not so successful, however, in that the satellite, Kwangmyongsong 4, is now tumbling in its orbit. US Strategic Command notes the satellite and a rocket booster stage "are in a nearly circular orbit, essentially over the poles" and are rotating at a 97.5-degree angle from the equator, per ABC News. In other words, the satellite is useless, says a US official. South Korea—which fired warning shots at a North Korean patrol boat in the Yellow Sea on Monday—is studying debris from the launch, but the international community already believes it was a front to test a ballistic missile capable of reaching the US as it requires the same technology, per CNN.

President Obama tells CBS This Morning that US officials are "consulting with the South Koreans for the first time about more missile defense capabilities to prevent any possibility that North Korea could reach US facilities or US populations." A missile defense system could be in place within weeks, reports CNN. The UN has also promised additional sanctions on North Korea after the launch, though Pyongyang appears unconcerned. The capital held an official fireworks display on Monday to celebrate the launch, and the vice director of the Ministry of the People's Armed Forces promised nations' efforts to stop North Korea from developing its technology were "nothing more than a puppy barking towards the moon." (More North Korea stories.)

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