By William Tucker
US and South Korean governments are stating that North Korea has launched its newest long-range rocket, the UNHA-3. At this point it looks as is if it has failed. The rocket launch was successful and the first stage had separated successfully, but it was the second and third stages that failed to separate. According to early reporting, this forced the rocket to crash into the ocean. Bear in mind that these are early reports and there are a lot of unknowns.
Also according to reports, particularly satellite intelligence, North Korea is prepping for another nuclear test. This becomes a more distinct possibility now that this rocket has failed. Pyongyang believed that they could launch this rocket and still maintain the deal that was brokered with the West, particularly the United States, in exchange for foreign aid. For domestic reasons, North Korea cannot be seen gambling away this is the deal for a failed rocket launch. That’s what makes the possibility of a nuclear test more likely.