North Korea suffered an embarrassing setback to its missile program Thursday after a major rocket launch fizzled out after just a minute in the air. Analysts say the failed test, timed to coincide with new leader Kim Jong Un’s ascension to a top military post, could prove mortifying to the country’s leadership.
From the New York Times:
“It’s hard to imagine a greater humiliation,” a North Korea expert, Marcus Noland, said in his blog at the Web site of the Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington.
“The North Koreans have managed in a single stroke to not only defy the U.N. Security Council, the United States, and even their patron China, but also demonstrate ineptitude,” Mr. Noland said. “Some of the scientists and engineers associated with the launch are likely facing death or the gulag as scapegoats for this embarrassment.”
Experts now worry North Korea could plan a new nuclear test in an effort to counteract the shame of the failed satellite launch.