It was launched today and seems to have been a success. According to a Russian source I read it overflew Okinawa, no order from Japanese command given to shoot it down. (translation)
KCNA (DPRK State news agency) says it successfully put the satellite into orbit, but that has not been confirmed independently. It seems all stages of the rocket functioned as planned. Edit: NORAD confirms the satellite achieved orbit.
North Korea’s new leader burnishes credentials with rocket | Reuters
North Korea followed what it said was a similar successful launch in 2009 with a nuclear test that prompted the United Nations Security Council to stiffen sanctions against Pyongyang that it originally imposed in 2006 after the North’s first nuclear test.
The state is banned from developing nuclear and missile-related technology under U.N. resolutions, although Kim Jong-un, the youthful head of state who took power a year ago, is believed to have continued the state’s “military first” programs put into place by his deceased father Kim Jong-il.
After Wednesday’s launch, which saw the second stage of the rocket splash down in seas off the Philippines as planned, Japan’s U.N. envoy called for a Security Council meeting. However, diplomats say further tough sanctions are unlikely to be agreed at the body as China, the North’s only major ally, will oppose them.
The rocket was launched just before 10 a.m. Korea time (9 p.m. ET on Tuesday), according to defense officials in South Korea and Japan, and easily surpassed a failed April launch that flew for less than two minutes.
I’m still baffled by the fact that people believe these “rogue states” (read: states that don’t conform to US hegemony) would sign their own death warrant by investing what little resources they have into nuclear weapons and then using them on militarily far superior powers (or on anyone for that matter, as any nuclear explosion outside of its own territory would mean a US response). Nuclear weapons give the dictator an almost foolproof guarantee that his nation won’t become the US’ next target, so he can continue to rule and live the high life- they are there as a deterrent.