The major piece picked up from a depth of 250 feet measured more than 25 feet long and nearly 8 feet in diameter. Mr. Kim, who worked for many years as a senior North Korea analyst at the Korea Institute for Defense Analyses, says the success of North Korean scientists and engineers in launching the rocket “does not mean an immediate threat.”
“They are successful this time,” he says, but “it was just a simple test.” He adds that “their satellite technology is very primitive” – so much so that analysts here believe
North Korea has lost touch with the 200-pound object as it circles the earth.
Mr. Kim is quick to add, however, that putting a satellite into orbit “is not their main target.” Rather, he says, the North Koreans want to develop the technology for firing a warhead a long distance – a highly complicated feat..
The great question is when and how North Korea will test the response of the incoming administrations of both the United States and South Korea. Park Geun-hye, daughter of the long-ruling dictator Park Chung-hee, assassinated by his intelligence chief in 1979, was elected as South Korea’s president last Thursday and is to be inaugurated in February.