North Korea has launched its long-range rocket at 1000KST and is broadcasting via state media that it has successfully put a satellite into orbit. Japan and South Korea are holding emergency meetings.
North Korea has released a second statement, saying in part “Our scientists and technicians, holding up Kim Jong Il’s will, succeeded in putting the “Kwangmyongsang-3″ No.2 satellite into orbit, by “Unha-3,” a delivery rocket.” In addition, they said ”The complete success of “Kwangmyongsong-3″ No.2 is a proud fruit of our party’s emphasis on science and technology policy, and a historical event in the process of advancing the country’s science technology and economy by independently asserting its right to peaceful use of space.
Obviously this has created as per normal quite a bit of tension on the peninsula, with Japan seeming fairly perplexed by things.
Every time something like this happens (such as the bombing of the island last year), many people feel a little bit worried about how it will affect tourism in North Korea, and if there will still be tours to the DPRK. In reality, and even if there are sanctions the tourist industry will not be affected in any way.
If anything these big news stories just put more interest into the country than anything else.
Also the news that Kenneth Bae a guide from one tour company was being held in the DPRK should not be of any alarm to people. Yes the DPRK has rules, but they are not actually that strict, and if you follow what your company (YPT) tells you to do, there is no reason why a trip here should not be what is it is to 99.99 percent of people, a wonderful experience.
Our 2013 program runs as normal! Although I will be particularly interested to visit the space section of the three revolutions exhibition now.