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North Korea (DPRK)

Satellite Launch in 2012

Ballistic missile threat

short presentation by Mike Gruntman as part of Engineers Week celebration
at the University of Southern California, February 2013

This web page in Belarusian language

About Mike Gruntman

This presentation slides as pdf


Direct link to this North Korea launch video on Vimeo

(full screen and download in high resolution)

Elite Space Club

This North Korea launch video on YouTube


On December 12, 2012, North Korea (Democratic People's Republic of Korea – DPRK) successfully placed into orbit an artificial satellite by a 3-stage rocket Unha-3. The satellite, KwangMyongSong-3 (KMS-3-2) apparently failed after deployment. It was the fifth satellite launch attempt and it finally has succeeded. North Korea had thus achieved a satellite in orbit almost two months before South Korea (Republic of Korea  – ROK) launched its satellite on January 30, 2013.

Direct link to this North Korea launch video on Vimeo

(full screen and download in high resolution)

Many "talking heads" in the media and self-described "pundits" (not all) dismissively jeered at the successful launch by North Korea and played down its impact. Similar reactions often greeted previous unsuccessful launches and ballistic missile tests by North Korea.

Examples (Associated Press):
"N[orth] Korea is still years away from reliable missiles"
"... [successful launch] doesn't mean that Pyongyang is close to having an intercontinental ballistic missile ..."

Let us leave to others to decide whether some pundits are uninformed or simply pursue an agenda, advocated by an appeasement wing of political and diplomatic establishments.

Dismissing, denigrating, and jeering at North Korean real achievements is irresponsible and unfair. It may lead to a miscalculation by policy and decision makers. Such miscalculations are dangerous and consequential.

One does not need a rocket technology of 2010 to place a nuclear warhead at half a world away.

The 50-year old rocket technology of 1960 would suffice.

One does not have to be a rocket scientist to understand this.

This short presentation (video) concentrates on technical aspects of the North Korean satellite launch, demonstrating how the material learned by engineering students in astronautical engineering coursework (ASTE-520 Spacecraft Design ) could be applied to assessing real problems of the real world such as ballistic missile threat.

missile defense coffee mug  –  missile defense coffee mug  –  missile defense coffee mug  –  other rocket science items

Space Missions and Common Orbits – Video clips


Intercept 1961. The Birth of Soviet Missile Defense

Intercept 1961. The Birth of Soviet Missile Defense (pdf)



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