Skip to comments.North Korea announces plan to launch long-range rocket mounted with satellite
Posted on 03/16/2012 1:58:15 AM PDT by Pinkbell
North Korea announced plans Friday to blast a satellite into space on the back of a long-range rocket, a provocative move that could jeopardize a weeks-old agreement with the U.S. exchanging food aid for nuclear concessions.
The North agreed to a moratorium on long-range launches as part of the deal with Washington, but it argues that its satellite launches are part of a peaceful space program that is exempt from any international disarmament agreements. The U.S., South Korea and other critics say the rocket technology overlaps with belligerent uses and condemn the satellite program as a disguised way of testing military missiles in defiance of a U.N. ban.
The launch is to take place three years after a similar launch in April 2009 drew widespread censure.
Japan urged Pyongyang to abandon the latest launch, calling it a violation of a U.N. resolution restricting the North's use of ballistic missile technology, and South Korea called the plans a "grave provocation."
The liftoff is slated for between April 12 and 16 from a west coast launch pad in North Phyongan province to test satellite technology, a spokesman for the Korean Committee for Space Technology said in a statement carried by state media.
The plan comes as North Korea prepares to celebrate the April 15 centenary of the birth of its founder, Kim Il Sung. Kim's grandson, Kim Jong Un, has led the nation of 24 million since his father, Kim Jong Il, died in December.
"The window for the launch is important in terms of the domestic politics of the North," said Daniel Pinkston, an expert on North Korea's weapons programs at the International Crisis Group. He said the launch serves to underline North Korea's military capabilities and reinforce Kim's fledgling rule.
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240,000 tons will keep their army and party elite fed for a while. You can bet the NorK people will never know where the food came from.
Puh-lease. Other than our One-World politicians, we all are not that stupid to believe that the Norks would ever keep their word.
IMHO, I think it’s time for Japan to have nukes. Of course they would have to change their constitution as created by MacArthur, if I remember correctly. Tell me why they shouldn’t. You would know better than I.
They shouldn’t be given aid if they are doing this. Also, the only way we should give them aid is if they allow American’s in to oversee the food distribution.
They will never allow foreigners in to oversee food distribution. They would never let the foreigners get away from the minders and hardly ever outside of the capitol city Pyongyang.
Electromagnetic pulse weapon?
I work at Camp Casey in Korea and have lived here for many years, so I am used to this kind of stuff from the North. This is just in response to the nuclear summit that is happening in Seoul.
First, the deal with the United States for food is dead. Secondly, they have twice before to use this rocket and it fizzled in 2006 and 2009.
PS I MUST revise much of what I wrote earlier. This will be a Taepodong III (3), and it will also be launched from the WEST COAST of North Korea, up near the Chinese border, due south over the Yellow Sea on a polar orbit (of course, they are not going to orbit anything). It would not go over Japanese territory, however I believe the trajectory is that it could come near Okinawa. Have to look into that. It also might not be launched exactly on 15 April, but some time between 12 and 16 April. Will look for NOTAMS or advisories to maritime industry.
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