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.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
North Korea agreed last month to suspend uranium enrichment, place a moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile tests, and to allow back U.N. weapons inspectors in exchange for much-needed food aid. Uranium enrichment is one way to make atomic bombs. In the past North Korea has also weaponized plutonium for nuclear devices.
North Korea called the April 2009 launch a bid to send a communications satellite into space, but it was widely viewed in the West as a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions prohibiting North Korea from engaging in nuclear and ballistic missile activity.
Shortly after the 2009 launch from an east coast station, Pyongyang declared that it would abandon six-nation negotiations on offering the North aid and concessions in exchange for nuclear disarmament. And weeks later, North Korea tested a nuclear device, the second in three years -- earning the regime tightened U.N. sanctions.
Those who don't learn from history...
North Korea`s state-run Korean Central Television began programming five hours earlier than usual Thursday after announcing that the day`s broadcasting would begin at noon.
After the sign-on, the station reported on its leader Kim Jong Un`s inspection of joint military drills by conducted by the Stalinist country`s armed force in an apparent attempt at escalating tension with South Korea.
The TV station said Kim Jong Un ordered troops to "mercilessly wipe out the enemy with the arms of justice and revenge once they go into action" and to "put spurs to strengthening military might, the sovereign right of the country and nation." Since visiting a tank division Jan. 2 in his first official public activity, the leader has frequently inspected military units and observed drills. On March 3, he visited the truce village of Panmunjom.
In addition, the Rodong Sinmun, the official daily of the Workers` Party confirmed that the North`s 2010 artillery attack on the South`s frontline island of Yeonpyeong was launched under an order from Kim Jong Un. The newspaper carried an article contributed by the head of the International Institute for the Juche (self-reliance) Idea. The article said, "When South Korea made indiscreet military provocations near Yeonpyeong Island in 2010, the enemy was frustrated by leader Kim Jong Un`s extraordinary strategy, and Yeonpyeong Island was turned into a sea of fire." This was the first time for Pyongyang to name who ordered the attack on the island.
I’d be more concerned if the North Koreans launched a satellite with a long range rocket on it.
Is this “rocket” made from paper mâché and stuffed with counterfeit $100’s?
Don’t be suprised when the satellite weight exactly as much as their 15kt nuke.
Iranian help has been documented over the last decade or so. They seem to be working in concert.
That was one of the main purposes of Sputnik 1. Not just for bragging rights and the psychological impact of an untouchable enemy satellite, but solid proof that they were close to being able to drop a payload anywhere on the planet.
And what will Obama do?
Maybe send Jimmy Carter or Madeline Albright or Bill Richardson to appease them with something of value.
DPRK TV announcement they are going to launch on or around April 15th to celebrate Kim Il Sung's birthday.
Previous Taepodong II launch by North Korea.
Perfect Platform for an EMP.
... just before blowing it to glittering shards:
10 gigawatts of nasty pulse(s), it would fry everything around.
I don’t know if the Norks can get higher than a 1 Megaton nuke in orbit, but they’s have to orbit it high (200 miles up) over Canada and then blow it up at the right time. Here’s praying it never happens.
on the “back” of a rocket?
are journ-o-listers stupid?
First off, you’d think that the media would understand that the state run TV and the state run newspaper get all of their content from the exact same place, the state run media organization KCNA
Obama has agreed to send 240,000 TONS of food.
We will feed their Army for them in exchange for vapid promises apparently.
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.