It has been a long time coming but the South Koreans have finally launched their Naro-1 rocket:
South Korea successfully launched its first-ever space rocket Wednesday, the country’s science minister said, with the satellite carried by the rocket also believed to have entered its intended orbit.
Whether the Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1 (KSLV-1), also known as Naro, has successfully deployed its payload satellite will be determined early Thursday (local time), Lee Ju-ho, minister of education, science and technology, told a press conference.
“At 4 p.m. today, the Naro was successfully launched. The satellite was deployed 540 seconds after the launch and an analysis of related data shows the satellite has successfully entered its target orbit,” he said.
Soon after its deployment, the Science and Technology Satellite-2C began transmitting beacon signals, which were successfully received by a ground station in Norway about 90 minutes after the launch of the KSLV-1 from South Korea’s Naro Space Center, according to officials from the Korea Aerospace Research Institute.
The successful transmission of beacon signal means the satellite is working properly, they said. [Yonhap]
You can read the rest at the link. Something important to realize about South Korea’s space program is that they already have satellites in space that were put up by the US, Russia, and Japan. So they have experience with satellites and have infrastructure in place to manage them. Additionally with this rocket launch they successfully put their satellite into a proper orbit compared to the North Koreans who’s satellite has been widely reported to be tumbling in orbit and thus unusable. So even though North Korea was first to shoot a rocket into space clearly the South Koreans are way more advanced in their space program than the North Koreans.