"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."