Every now and then the North Koreans will do something to get themselves back in the news. Usually it's some act of stupidity/defiance, such as the Poplar Tree incident, the Tunnels, the Crab Wars, the Submarine incident, etc.
Yesterday, it was a missile launch. They've been working up the war rhetoric for the last few days in preparation for the launch. The launch itself was a P.R. victory for the country, because it shows they have the technology to launch a missile that reaches (at least) to Japan and it generated a lot of attention for the country. They will leverage this to the best of their abilities, garnering more aid and more publicity for the regime. The Dear Leader General Kim Chong Il ("the Chonger") may not be much for international travel, and he might just be a maniacal, mass murdering cur, but he's savvy. He knows how to keep himself in power and his people uninformed.
The country's news service has declared the launch a success, placing a satelite in orbit that sings the praises of the Great Leader (Kim Il Sung) and Dear Leader. This is false, of course, as no satelite actually entered orbit from this launch, but that doesn't matter to a country whose government controls what information reaches its people. Interesting sidenote, Jazz Shaw at the Moderate Voice writes an article here about the giving the President the authority to control information media during a time of crisis that he would get to define. Fortunately, we're not North Korea, so we don't have to worry about the Government trying to control what we hear. Oh, wait.
But back to the point. The real question that should come from this is what should we do about North Korea? What we will do is completely different. We'll do some sabre-rattling, name calling, and pounding on the table, but at the end of the day we'll end up giving them more aid. This is unfortunate, but it's what's probably going to happen.
What we should have done was invaded this country back in 2003. We had a much stronger case (real facts versus what the President wanted to be told so he could tell us of the imminence of danger) of a credible threat to the region. But that ship has sailed, and now we've hemorrhaged our resources, which limits our ability to respond.