North Korea’s Fourth Satellite Launch Attempt

Issue & Policy Briefs December 7, 2012, No. 109

North Korea has announced that it will attempt another satellite launch between December 10 and 22. As North Korea has an active nuclear weapons program and launching a satellite is technologically quite similar to test-firing a long-range ballistic missile, this is of obvious concern to the international community. This policy brief examines the motivations that may be driving the decision to attempt a satellite launch now, assesses the prospects of the launch, and makes recommendations as to how this issue should be handled in the future.