Well, the DPRK has fired off its rocket. The exhausted booster rockets fell into the sea outside the declared exclusion zones (no surprise there) but the pieces of the DPRK's rocket did not seem to have hurt anyone (a relief).
In other words, another less-than-successful launch of the three stage Taepodong, with the only likely casualties being members of the Taepodong design team and the Japanese government's sense of proportion. Right now on the television, commentators are pounding away at the issue of whether this launch should be charaterized as a seemingly off-kilter ballistic missile test or a seemingly off-kilter satellite launch. Of course, the difference is important in regards to whether or not the launch will result in new UN Security Council resolutions and actions. However, as there are no casualties and no damage, I do not see the Chinese in Japan's corner on this launch--which makes the distinction rather moot.
Meanwhile, in the rest of the world, several hundred innocents will die today, for incredibly stupid, easily remedied reasons. No press conference is scheduled to explain or even note their deaths. Go and buy something.
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