North Korean satellite still remains silent

Since 7 February 2016, when Unha-3 rocket lifted Kwangmyŏngsŏng-4 satellite on orbit there is still no signs of any operational activity of this spacecraft.

To remind: in spite of official UN ban for any tests of rocket technology, North Korea decided to perform second attempt of their most recent Unha-3 rocket. Rocket which is heavy modified military missile Taepodong-2, was launched at 00:30 GMT from Sohae launch site on February 7 2016.

Launch and fact of reaching orbit by some kind of spacecraft were confirmed by North Korean space agency NADA, American NORAD (NORAD catalog identification numbers were given: 41332 and 41333) and South Korean military. After lasting 9 minutes 46 seconds flight, The Kwangmyongsong-4 reached designated orbit of 465 by 501 Kilometers at an inclination of 97.53 degrees. Unfortunately for North Korean space engineers, satellite has remained silent until now. According to official sources from North Korea, satellite was developed as observation and broadcasting satellite with no clearly stated military purpose. Of course official version is not widely accepted by Western Governments - lack of any communication between ground control centers and satellites suggests, that in reality North Korea is not possessing technology capable to develop any kind of satellite. Lifting object into orbit is only clear sign that authorities of North Korea are generally not interested in rockets as launch vehicles lifting satellites but as missiles lifting warheads. Another sign of failure (or rather success, if Unha-3 launch will be considered as ICBM test) of the satellite is tumbling movement. Of course less advanced satellites often need several weeks for stabilizing (especially with passive attitude control systems), but still it is second sign that maybe North Korean satellite was only a dummy. Third reason to put operating abilities of Kwangmyongsong-4 into question is lack of any pictures of Earth surface published by North Korea. Of course any picture of Earth taken by first operating satellite could be great propaganda success of government. All in all, it seems that North Korea is developing rockets not launch vehicles, but still even if proofs are not as strong, lack of any reasonable reaction of the West gives DPRK silent agreement for further development of military potential.