North Korea's "satellite launch" has come as a surprise on two counts. The first is that it came unannounced, just two days after Pyongyang extended its launch window, citing a "technical deficiency" in the first stage of its rocket.
The second is that it seems to have been a success. Both North Korea and US analysts seems to agree that the launch was indeed successful and that the rocket placed the satellite into orbit.
That is a vast improvement on North Korea's previous launch attempt in April, when the rocket fell apart into the sea moments after take-off.
Crucially, too, this is the first time that North Korea's claims of success have been backed by key international observers.
Perhaps it was the Iran connection that made the difference. Which would be worrying.
More analysis from Stephen Haggard here.