North Korea claims it launched a satellite into orbit, said The Wall Street Journal in an editorial. Pyongyang says the satellite is broadcasting "immortal revolutionary paeans" back to Earth — the U.S. says it really fell into the Pacific. But unless President Obama tries a new, more forceful North Korea policy, dictator Kim Jong Il will be able to parlay the attention he got from this launch into more money and energy supplies from the West.
Obama will "have to walk a fine line between not allowing Pyongyang to be seen to 'get away with' such blatant defiance," said Peter Foster and Philip Sherwell in Britain's The Telegraph, while "leaving North Korea a way back to the all-important Six-Party on nuclear disarmament." But talking tough could be the only option, because Russia and China have made clear they won't support fresh sanctions against North Korea's "bankrupt regime."
"The launch was a high-stakes gamble for Kim," said Jon Herskovitz in Reuters. He drew "global scorn" for violating a United Nations resolution by firing a long-range, multi-stage rocket. But even in failure the launch was "a boon" for Kim, because it "helps the North's tested strategy of using military threat to wring concessions by adding a new missile card to play."