"North Korea will try to exploit the South's launch as hypocritical so they will pressure China to take that position...to share that view that this is an example of the hypocrisy and inequality of (this month's) U.N. Security Council Resolution 2087," says Pinkston.
China was a signatory to that resolution, as was Japan.
"I don't think they (Japan) will say anything in that the South Korean program has been transparent," adds Pinkston.
"They've conducted themselves in a way that's non-threatening. South Korea does not have a nuclear weapons program. It has signed all the non-proliferation treaties."
But Cheong of South Korea's Peace Network disagrees.
"I don't think Japan will welcome (the) South Korean launch," he says. "South Korea and Japan have many issues including (a maritime) territorial dispute. Japan's fundamental concern is that South Korea becomes stronger and stronger. South Korea's launch may, at least in small part, spur Japan's rearmament."
Looking to the future, the historical lack of cooperation between Asia's orbit-reaching nations alludes more to competition than camaraderie.
"There's been some cooperation... I know Japan has launched one satellite at least for South Korea," says Pinkston. "But in most other areas, science exploration, remote sensing, manned spacecraft... it's limited."
"If you look on a continuum of 'full cooperation' to 'fully competitive' it's more leaning towards competitive."