South Korea's past experience with rockets has been patchy. Its first launch in 2009 reached orbit, then failed to detach. The second, a year later, exploded just two minutes into its flight.
North Korea has not reacted to South Korea's success.
But this region appears to be amid a tense and accelerating space race. In recent days, Japan has launched spy satellites to monitor the region. China and the U.S. say they've tested missile interceptors.
And now South Korea has joined Pyongyang in that elite space club.