April 15 is the 100th anniversary of Kim Il Sung's birth, in the same year as when Kim Jong Il would have turned seventy, on February 16.
The good news in all this is that we can commerate the sinking of the Titanic and the birth of the Great Comrade and Great Leader, the Suryong and creator of Juche, a creative application of Marxism-Lenninism at the same time, hopefully without any other disasters., other than our tax bill.
I love going through that whole spiel about Great Comrade, "Juche, a creative application of Marxism-Lenninism" etc... to remind me of what semi-nuts the Kim family are, although it doesn't inspire a lot of confidence as to their future actions either, when you really think about it.
That date matters a lot in North Korea, as to how things are announced that are considered vitally important.
The reason then that one would worry about the timing of Kim Jong Il's death is strategic surprise. Then again, that is also being paranoid, because though you are dealing with paranoids in the North. Takes one to know one.
As to the concern that isn't totally crazy to worry about, that is because at the time of his death, it was right when we were about to make a deal with missiles and nuclear weapons for food with Kim Jong Il, Dear Leader, as opposed to Brilliant General grandson, which is broadly consistent too with two mutually exclusive and logically exhaustive alteratives to his death being natural, i.e. it either wasn't a natural death at all, or a death at all.
Then again, people who are 69 and love to smoke and party all night long with yeya and with Swedish prostitutes while people starve to death because of their policies die all the time too.
Brilliant General, who's 27: him you have to doubt he's Alexander the Great in the making as to Kim Jong Un, successor to Dear Leader Kim Jong il, in turn the successor to Kim il Sung, whose birthday we get to celebrate this weekend, along with paying our taxes and the sinking of the Titanic.
Then again, for all the fun you want to poke at the North, isn't everywhere a little weird if you thought about it too much?
What can one do with such things, other than be ready to blow that thing out of the sky should it take a trajectory that would definitely mean hostile intent, possibly with WMD, if of course more transparency on the payload solves that problem.
In either alternative scenario to what the North Koreans said at the time of Kim Jong Il's death, which we do know by the train episode wasn't completely true, since the train didn't move, and note the limitations of IMINT from satellites there and COMINT on the use of couriers like with Bin Laden, not to mention the limits on HUMINT in that madhouse, the strategic surprise implications of that alternate path is the worry.
It's also worthwhile to note that it takes time to set up a rocket shot for the NORKs, if the good news is that after April 15, it would be over, once that is the "satellite" has begun communicating in a way that means it can't be a weapons system of some form made to look like a satellite that doesn't have solar panels to unfurl or better, one that you can touch instead of being protected from electrostatic charge, like an EMP device in particular offf a boosted fission reaction, if also ground/air blast at the boosted fission level of kilotonage, e.g 200 kilotons.
Then again, it's probably all like the scene in Reservoir Dogs with Mr. White and Harvey Keitel: "Are you gonna bark little doggie (dwarf) or are you gonna bite?"
No one got bit, they just barked, until that really bad idea at the end: "Don't point that gun at my Daddy!"
Not to be negative, but that would be a fireworks display over a target the NORKsould really get down with to celebrate their founding lunatic's birthday.
It wouldn't mean hit a panic button, but, it would mean one would want to be completely prepared to engage and destroy that missile the North Koreans are fueling right now the second it leaves their airspace, but only just in case it starts to take a non-due East trajectory that is not consistent with what has been stated as to the purpose, and is in fact one that would place it in an orbit that is inconsistent with American electro-magnetic security in particular.
If the North Koreans want to have a peaceful fireworks show for the Dear Leader, well... what can one do, other than note that if they aren't cooperative about showing that payload, being more wary is totally reasonable, as is blowing it out of the sky to show Iran that we don't like the way it looks like North Korea wants to play games to give them bad ideas either.
Watching when its communications light up is important too, as until it does that in a form that is consistent with it not being a weapon, unless it is demonstrated on the ground not to be by continuous inspection available to national means of verification, some would argue that it is really only simple prudence to assume that it is a weapon of some form, especially when you go back to the timing of Kim's death, which is very convenient, is it not?
Then again, such things happen too. But if the North Koreans want to keep that agreement alive, showing the payload fully would seem obviously in their self-interest and a demonstration of rationality, important in a nuclear weapons state, especially one that is asking you to feed it, which is the case here.