"The significance of the launch, of course, is the booster itself. The booster is bigger than it has to be. It's based on Han missiles. It's not a military missile ... but it's darn close. Like we've said on TV, this rocket is not a weapon, but it's maybe 98 percent of one. It can be converted all too easily and all too frighteningly into a weapon, and they don't need it. They don't need a booster of this size, of this cost, to launch a satellite they say they want to. They seem to be overdoing it, and that can hurt a country, not help it."
Keith's note: North Korea's rocket launch - like the rest of the country - was a total failure. It broke apart a minute or so after launch. Now they can get back to starving their population to pay for it.
North Korea gets ready to launch, Nature
"The satellite looks remarkably similar to the South Korean's first satellite, which was launched in 1992, but there's no way to tell what it's actual capabilities might be according to Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer with the Harvard Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics and rocket enthusiast. The one thing McDowell is sure of is that it would make a lousy spy satellite. "We're talking kilometre or at best hundred meter resolution," he says. In other words, they would be better off doing their spying on Google earth."