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North Korea also wants to launch its own space program, which will not ease international concern regarding the country's ability to launch missiles

As South Korean and U.S. officials believe North Korea is prepared to test fire a long-range missile, North Korean officials have announced the nation is looking forward to developing a space program in the near future.

"The DPRK's policy of advancing to space for peaceful purposes is a justifiable aim that fits the global trend of the times," government officials said in a state-run newspaper.  "There is no power in the world that can stop it.  As long as developing and using space are aimed at peaceful purposes and such efforts contribute to enhancing human beings' happiness, no one in the world can find fault with them."

Despite international concern, North Korea has been involved in space research and development, but hasn't launched its own satellites or rockets into space.  Several nations -- and possibly NASA in the near future -- fuel their space programs through military funding, and there is a concern North Korea would use its satellite launch technology to develop more sophisticated rocket technology for missiles and weapons of war.

During a launch in 1998, North Korea launched a missile that sailed over Japan and splashed into the Pacific Ocean, with government officials saying the missile helped put a satellite into orbit.

Along with a possible entrance into space, North Korea is almost ready to test launch the Taepodong-2 missile, which has an estimated range of 4,100 miles.  Pyongyang would like to test launch the missile to garner international attention, especially from new U.S. President Barack Obama.

North Korea first tried to launch Taepodong-2 in 2006, but the missile failed 40 seconds after launch, U.S. security officials said.

The United States and numerous other western nations have become increasingly concerned by a growing number of nations looking to develop space programs. 

Iran recently launched a satellite into orbit despite international concern its space program could be used for military purposes.

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RE: say wha???
By wordsworm on 2/8/2009 11:00:40 PM , Rating: 0
You don't think S. Korea, Japan, or China would object to a nuclear attack on N. Korea?

RE: say wha???
By Etsp on 2/9/2009 12:45:31 AM , Rating: 2
I think that S. Korea and Japan might publicly protest the act, but they wouldn't take any action in retaliation, that's for sure. Japan and S. Korea aren't exactly friendly with N. Korea, if I remember correctly...

RE: say wha???
By Amiga500 on 2/9/2009 2:24:09 AM , Rating: 4
You are right in that Japan and S. Korea are not friendly with North Korea.

Unfortunately for them, fallout does not adhere to national boundaries.

RE: say wha???
By Gul Westfale on 2/9/2009 2:36:21 AM , Rating: 3
so when will we see pictures of an emaciated north korean astronaut floating over the earth in his wooden craft?

RE: say wha???
By afkrotch on 2/9/2009 1:41:33 PM , Rating: 2
Tactical nukes. Minimalize fallout to just N.korea. No need for strategic nukes. Better yet, nuclear bunker busters. Keep the fallout in the ground.

RE: say wha???
By ekv on 2/9/2009 2:38:42 AM , Rating: 2
Whoa. Not so fast.

I'd agree about Japan, maybe. However, while the S.Korea and N.Korea governments are at odds, the people are closely related. There are issues. I hope I get to visit there again, real soon. It is common for a younger person to address an older person as "Uncle" ... the likelihood of being a relative, however distant, is rather likely. Etc. The border that separates the N. & S. Korea is very real but very painful for people with families on the other side.

While I agree that retaliation on N.Korea would be swift -- indeed, while their attack would have unfortunate victims, it would actually wind up helping US remove a pesky thorn in the side -- I'm not so sure I want N.Korea to have anything in the way of technology. Very difficult to stop, of course, especially if China is simply feeding them some of their espionage. I'm not saying that's the case, though wouldn't N.Korea make a good pawn for them?

So, lots of dynamics. We're better off putting the screws to a terrorist sponsoring N.Korean gov't, however possible. Do not negotiate with terrorists. [Unless you plan to stab them in the back ... before they stab you.]

RE: say wha???
By Etsp on 2/9/2009 3:44:24 AM , Rating: 2
Who ever said that government was representative of public opinion. :) But, you are correct, I did neglect the feelings of the public of S. Korea in the event of an attack on N. Korea...

RE: say wha???
By wordsworm on 2/9/2009 2:17:40 PM , Rating: 2
Amiga caught what I was saying - the fallout would be something that these nations would get upset over. The other thing is that whatever one might want to say of N. Korea, one cannot say that their weaponry is lacking. Whatever attack is made will carry with it severe repercussions, with the most likely candidate being S. Korea.

Don't forget that N. Korea has nuclear and impressive ballistic capabilities. They will not be the walk in the park that Iraq was. I suppose the Geneva Convention is really just used for executing enemies of the Allies, and does not apply to the Allies, but a nuclear attack would be the same as opening up the door to nuclear war for all the super powers. Only a complete idiot without a conscience would open the door to that, and fortunately he's no longer the president of the US.

As arrogant as America is about being the world's only super bully, Japan, and Russia are all countries which could quite severely retaliate if they felt an attack on N. Korea was a threat to them. Fortunately for America, there's another country who would likely object to N. Korea having too much - and that's China. China's resources for attacking N. Korea are actually much better than the US, yet still in no way would it be a walk in the park. One million standing in the military, a big military, right on their doorstep. If China doesn't want the US to attack, and the US presses an attack on N. Korea, that would be the kind of thing that would lead to WWIII.

One of the reasons why America has been so successful as a military power has been its manufacturing capabilities. In those days, all the big automotive manufacturers were in the US, Canada, and the wealthy European nations. Turning automotive manufacturers into tank and other military type vehicles is relatively easy. Now, more than fifty years have passed, and things in Asia have changed. China, Japan, and South Korea are all mega manufacturers today, thanks to global trade and western consumerism. That means that they have everything they need to manufacture a war machine that is every bit competitive with the US on non-nuclear and nuclear fronts.

RE: say wha???
By Spuke on 2/9/2009 4:11:20 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not talking about an offensive attack, I'm talking about a RETALIATORY attack. If someone launches a nuke against another country, that country WILL be nuked by the US and/or its allies. Not one country is going to use diplomacy to counter a nuclear strike. The US would likely not be a target of N. Korea but China or Japan (or both) would be and neither would sit there and yap their gums about it. I wouldn't be surprised at all if China AND Japan nuked N. Korea if either country was attacked (with nukes).

RE: say wha???
By wordsworm on 2/9/2009 11:20:18 PM , Rating: 2
Where do you suppose Japan would get its nuclear weapon from?

RE: say wha???
By Spuke on 2/12/2009 6:40:47 PM , Rating: 2
Where do you suppose Japan would get its nuclear weapon from?
Who says they don't have any?

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