In April, North Korea launched a rocket from the northern part of the country, claiming it was carrying a satellite. The launch failed, and the rocket burned up in just over a minute and disappeared from radar in 10 minutes. But condemnation of the act was swift, coming from, among others, Russia, China and the U.S., which denounced the event as a "provocative act" that succeeded only in further isolating the country.
New Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un, perhaps borrowing a page from his father's playbook, made his first public appearance just two days later. Kim also got some close attention when the state media revealed the identity of his wife, Ri Sol Ju.
Despite warnings, North Korea claims it will go ahead with the second launch of a satellite later in December.