This plot from Google Earth shows the announced splashdown zones and the locations of the splashdowns from a story in the Yomiuri. Credit: David Wright.

Based on where the second stage fell, it is clear that the North Korean satellite launch was another failure.

Oh-for-three. These guys really suck.


Stage one of the missile fell into the Sea of Japan/East Sea. The remaining stages along with the payload itself landed in the Pacific Ocean.

No object entered orbit and no debris fell on Japan

(I would also direct you to SEESAT, where they have a nice discussion going.)

Update. The wags are out. “Paul” writes:

According to the US Navy the highly unique North Korean satellite has entered subaquatic orbit in the Pacific Ocean, and is transmitting melodies of the immortal revolutionary paeans Song of General Kim Il-sung and Song of General Kim Jong-il on a 15 kHz acoustic channel.

Seriously, the best thing about this blog are the readers. That is pure genius, right down to the frequency.