North Korean Satellite Launch a Success, Despite Malfunctions

Intelligence officials summarize the launch of Pyongyang’s successful launch. Despite possible loss of control over the satellite, it is still a success that advances North Korea's intercontinental missile capabilities

Last week, North Korea successfully launched a satellite into space through the use of the Unha 3 satellite launcher. The success comes after four failed launch attempts in the past few years. Through its success, Pyongyang joined an exclusive club of countries that hat successfully introduced a satellite into orbit around the planet.

IsraelDefense has obtained initial details from the conclusion of intelligence officials assessments regarding the success of the test. Initially, the fast process of learning lessons testifies that since its last satellite launch failure, North Korea has developed impressive engineering recuperation capability.

Western intelligence elements further assess that it not the case of the launch of a ballistic missile, but rather a satellite launcher. However, the success in this instance considerably advances Pyongyang’s plan to attain intercontinental missile capability. US sources reported that North Korea lost control of the satellite that was launched within a day. Nevertheless, it is still an impressive success for the country.

Intelligence sources in Japan also reported that Iranian officials were spotted at the launch, strengthening the reports of cooperation between Iran and North Korean with regards to both the ballistic missile program and the nuclear program.

According to Tal Inbar, head of the Space Research Center at the Fisher Institute for Air and Space, there is no doubt that satellite launch capability could serve as a future springboard for ballistic capability. “North Korea officially has entered the space club, and has become the tenth country in the world with satellite launch capability. It is clear to all that the ability to launch a satellite into space can be translated into the ability to launch a warhead-equipped ballistic missile for very long ranges.”

With regards to the ties between Iran and Pyongyang, Inbar says that "the ties between the missile programs of Iran and North Korea are known of for years, and any progress in the field of missiles for one of the countries will affect the other one as well. It is interesting to note that in April 2012, North Korea presented a model of a long-range ballistic missile which bears several similarities with the successful satellite launcher. Iran’s programs show much interest in very long ranged missiles, and therefore technical knowledge originating from North Korea’s satellite program could support Iran’s ambition of attaining ballistic capabilities at ranges that exceed those that exist today.”

Watch the launch:

(From the Russian TV show - Russia Today)

You might be interested also

Photo: Bigstock

Poised for the Big Bang

The UAS field continues to tap into new domains, break out of the boundaries of defense applications, and consolidate in the civilian sphere. Special article in anticipation of the 2019 UVID Conference