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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 theArchMichael on 2/9/2009 4:41:59 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
they ALL know if one leaves the ground, that country will cease to exist.

I HOPE you are absolutely correct, but do you think it is wise to cede that type of power to a dictator that starves and tortures his own citizens.
I guess that 'shoot from the hip' talk is fine is you're living way out in the cornfields somewhere but if you are one of the 84 percent of Americans living in and around a major metropolitan area I would think a more careful approach would be warranted. We can't allow an extremist leader to dictate the lowest common denominator of what are acceptable losses. If pyongyang is leveled then perhaps, the n. koreans may think somehow they would have made an impression on the world (no pun intended) and they would be successful, but if we lost DC, NYC, Boston, San Fran or LA, America would be devestated. They do not only serve our practical needs but are the bastions of American greatness.
So all that to say that perhaps we shouldn't so readily jump to our last line of defense, and we should explore other options diplomatic and otherwise.


RE: say wha???
By Spuke on 2/9/2009 4:22:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I HOPE you are absolutely correct, but do you think it is wise to cede that type of power to a dictator that starves and tortures his own citizens.
No it's not wise but ultimately, what can we do? Give them a few billion not do it only for them to take that money and develop the tech anyways? It's their country and, quite frankly, they can do what they want. But there are consequences to contend with and if N. Korea wants to launch a nuke at someone, then they face the consequences of getting turned into a glass parking lot.

quote:
I guess that 'shoot from the hip' talk is fine is you're living way out in the cornfields somewhere but if you are one of the 84 percent of Americans living in and around a major metropolitan area
First, it's not 84%, it's more like 50%. Second, I and many other millions of Americans lived under the nuclear threat from the former Soviet Union. Imminent death is not desirable but sometimes you just have to grow a pair and accept fate. Third, N. Korea doesn't have enough nukes to launch a successful attack on the US. As far as we are away from them, we would simply launch a few interceptors and a few more retaliatory nukes. China and Japan have virtually no protection from first strikes from N. Korea. They would get f$%ked but N. Korea would no longer be a country.


RE: say wha???
By PrinceGaz on 2/9/2009 8:17:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
if we lost DC, NYC, Boston, San Fran or LA, America would be devestated


They didn't seem too devestated when New Orleans was all but lost a few years ago. That was a fair sized city and well known world over for its culture, long before the wind and water incident.


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