North Korea  successfully launched  a three-stage rocket this morning, defying international warnings. "The launch of the second version of our Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite from the Sohae Space Centre... on December 12 was successful," said KCNA, the state news agency. "The satellite has entered the orbit as planned." A previous attempt, in April this year, broke up and disintegrated over the sea just seconds after take off.
There is a U.N.  resolution banning the state from undertaking ballisting missile testing. Japan, South Korea and the U.S. are all convinced that the development, ostensibly to launch a satellite, is a cover for the rogue state's ambitions on the long-range missile front. Even China, long a supporter of the Pyongyang regime, has expressed "regret" at the launch.
[Image from Flickr user (stephan) ]