October 03, 2023

North Korean satellites and rocket science

Deconstructing the hysteria over the satellite launch that now appears imminent

The press has again been running hot recently over stories that North Korea is about to launch, or attempt to launch, another rocket.

It brings to mind the run-up to the 70th anniversary of the Workers’ Party of Korean in October, when an allegedly imminent satellite launch was widely bracketed with a nuclear test and described as a “threat”; thus the Korea Times (“South vows stern action against NK threats”) and the Hankyoreh (North Korea sounding off with missile and nuclear threats). The Chosun Ilbo was particularly agitated by the prospect of what it described as a test of a ‘long-range missile’ and warned of “dire consequences.”