After days of speculation, North Korea finally initiated the launch of its Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite early on Friday. The launch was a failure, with the rocket breaking into pieces into the Yellow Sea shortly after liftoff. The North Koreans claimed the rocket would carry a satellite into orbit. The US and its allies claim it was a provocative test of missile technology aimed at developing the ability to strike the US and other long range targets.
The launch has already had serious ramifications for the nuclear negotiations between the North Koreans and a group of nations including the US, South Korea, Japan, and China. The group had reached a deal with North Korea to deliver food aid to the impoverished nation in exchange for the dissolution of its nuclear program. Friday’s rocket launch caused the nations to back out of the deal. North Korea has a history of saber ratttling, and other countries are growing weary of its tactics.
The launch is a major embarrassment for the communist country. North Korea had invited international journalists to watch the launch. The impoverished nation prides itself on its military and its technology. Despite sanctions brought on by its nuclear testing, the isolated regime continues to push the envelope in terms of provocation. The people of North Korea are the ones who suffer in the end, as millions deal with malnutrition. The launch was likely a way to bolster new Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who took power when his father recently passed away. Whatever the case may be, it is a blow to the nuclear negotiations and a nuclear free Korean peninsula.