North Korea's newly launched satellite marks a "big deal" for Pyongyang, the crossing of a major threshold and a public relations win for the secretive country's new leader, Kim Jong Un, experts say.
The success, after years of failed attempts, triggered worries among world leaders about nuclear weapons, Iran and the balance of power in the Pacific.
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called the launch "clear provocation."
Experts do not believe North Korea has a nuclear warhead small enough to fly on the kind of missile that Pyongyang has now proved it can send long-distance.
But the launch allowed the regime to flex its military and technological muscle on the world stage.
Panetta told CNN he is "very confident" that if North Korea were to launch a missile at the United States, the U.S. military could guard against it.
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