North Korea made headlines and caused panic on Feb. 7 for launching a rocket into orbit, but the satellite that prompted an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council may just be "tumbling in orbit.”
An unidentified U.S. defense official told CNN that the 220-pound satellite may be useless. North Korea has insisted that the satellite is intended for peaceful purposes, including monitoring the weather, mapping resources and securing data for farmers, CBS News reported. North Korea launched a similar satellite in 2012, although there haven’t been any signals from that device.
North Korea did not respond to pressure not to launch the satellite from its ally in China, which President Barrack Obama cited as a cause for concern. "I think we have been concerned about North Korea's behavior for a while. This is an authoritarian regime. It's provocative. It has repeatedly violated U.N. resolutions, tested and produced nuclear weapons and now they are trying to perfect their missile launch system,” he said on CBS News.
“I spoke with President Xi of China just a few days before this launch about the need to really tighten the noose on them. But what we're also doing is consulting with the South Koreans for the first time about more missile defense capabilities to prevent any possibility that North Korea could reach U.S. facilities or U.S. populations.”
So far, no signal has been detected from the new satellite, either by amateurs or experts.