North Korea, the reclusive totalitarian nation on the Korean peninsula, has launched a rocket suspected to be part of an offensive missile testing program. The North Korean government claims the launch was simply a peaceful launch of a communications satellite. North Korea is known to be developing a nuclear weapons system, and the rocket technology used for this launch is presumed to be easily adaptable and can be used to carry a nuclear payload to the United States and elsewhere.
U.S., South Korean, and Japanese authorities have condemned the launch as a reckless and provocative. The Japanese government requested an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council for Sunday afternoon to respond to North Korea’s brinkmanship, although it is expected that China—which has veto power on the council—will block any serious condemnation or retaliation against North Korea.