Tuesday, July 04, 2006

North Korean ICBM Bombs

N. Korea Fires Long-Range Missile, Others

By Dana Priest
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, July 4, 2006; 6:37 PM

North Korea today defied strong warnings from Washington and test-launched its long-range ballistic missile, which fizzled less than a minute after lift-off, according to Pentagon and State Department officials.

The Taepodong-2 test followed the launch of a short-range SCUD-type missile and a medium-range Nodong missile, according to first reports, which officials at the Pentagon and State Department cautioned may still change. U.S. surveillance craft observed all three tests, said the Pentagon official, who asked not to be named.

The Taepodong, which has an estimated range that gives it the potential of striking parts of the United States, has provoked heightened tensions with the rest of the world recently. Today, though, diplomatic and military officials played down any imminent threat. "None posed a threat," the Pentagon spokesman said in an e-mail account of the incident, and "no action [was] required." The missile failed after about 35 seconds, he confirmed.


Now the real question is are they trying to help us celebrate Independence Day or trying to shoot down the space shuttle ?

In all seriousness the US couldn't have asked for a better launch result. However you know that N Korea has to be pissed that Iran gets a multinational gift basket for developing a nuclear program while N Korea receives sanctions. Kim Jong-il must be feeling extra ronery about now.
I'm sure Southpark creators Matt Stone and Trey Fisher are breathing a sigh of relief today. (Its a running joke folks see here and here)

Captain's Quarters has an interesting breakdown on this story:

One has to wonder at the sudden and early failure of all three rockets. After all, the Kim regime has successfully launched the Nodong before. It seems a little strange that all three missiles failed so quickly after their launch. Besides sheer incompetence, two explanations could apply. On one hand, the North Koreans may have launched them because they could not safely defuel them; they could have aborted the missiles shortly after launch to ensure that they did not fly long enough to provoke an American response. If that were the case, though, one would expect that they would have notified at least the Chinese in order to ensure that we did not overreact to the launches.