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North Korea attempted to launch a ballistic missile, from a site seen here, this morning. The launch failed, raining debris on the Sea of Japan. North Korea insists the launch was legal, but President Obama condemned the launch, saying it is in violation of international laws.  (Source: Digital Globe/ISIS)

North Korea claimed the missile's payload reached orbit, but it was caught in a lie by U.S. intelligence. The satellite, which was to broadcast anthems praising North Korea's dictator, crashed to Earth when second stage separation failed.  (Source: QuiNews)
North Korea claims satellite reached orbit, U.S. intelligence states otherwise

North Korea recently announced that it was pursuing a "peaceful" space launch, which it claims was within its rights under international law.  However, officials in the U.S. and South Korea believed that North Korea had far more sinister intentions -- testing its Taepodong-2 launch vehicle, which could deploy nuclear or traditional payloads to the U.S. or Japan

North Korea tried its first Taepodong-2 test in July 2006, only to meet with failure.  Months later, it rocked the world of foreign diplomacy when it carried out a nuclear test.  Talks between the U.S., South Korea, Japan, Russia, and China over North Korea's nuclear disarmament are currently stalled.

Eager to try its hand at another Taepodong-2 test, North Korea launched one over the weekend, only to fail once again according to the BBC.  North Korea's state run media at first reported that the satellite payload, named "Kwangmyongsong-2", had successfully reached orbit and was transmitting data, including the "Song of General Kim Il-sung" and "Song of General Kim Jong-il" -- national anthems praising North Korea's former leader, and his son, the current leader of North Korea.

However, U.S. intelligence quickly contradicted these reports, announcing that the missile failed during the second stage of separation on the three-stage rocket, occurring at approximately 0230 GMT.  North Korea's failed attempt scattered debris on the Sea of Japan and the Pacific.  Describes U.S. intelligence, "Stage one of the missile fell into the Sea of Japan/East Sea. The remaining stages along with the payload itself landed in the Pacific Ocean.  No object entered orbit and no debris fell on Japan."

U.S. officials "assessed the space launch vehicle as not a threat to North America or Hawaii and took no action in response to this launch," according to a statement.  The U.S. and Japan have a joint functional missile shield, which could have been deployed, had the launch been considered a threat.  The U.S., EU, Japan and South Korea all condemned the failed launch attempt.

Speaking to a crowd in the Czech capital, Prague, President Barack Obama, stated, "North Korea broke the rules once more by testing a rocket that could be used for a long-range missile.  This provocation underscores the need for action - not just this afternoon at the UN Security Council, but in our determination to prevent the spread of these weapons."

In particular, he says the launch clearly violates Security Council resolution 1718 adopted in October 2006, which bans North Korea from carrying out ballistic missile activity.  China and Russia, both former allies of North Korea, urged the U.S. and others to be conservative in their response to the violation.



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By GodisanAtheist on 4/6/2009 2:30:53 PM , Rating: 1
... rather than Iraq. What a waste.

Kim-boy is pure 1000% batshit crazy, and is so far out of Sadam Hussein's league in terms of bark/bite in relative and absolute terms and oppression of the local population that dropping a few missiles on his palace would quite prudent... and this coming from someone who was staunchly against the Iraq war from the start.




By ChronoReverse on 4/6/2009 2:51:46 PM , Rating: 2
Iraq didn't have 10000 artillery guns pointed at a city like Seoul.


By geddarkstorm on 4/6/2009 3:53:02 PM , Rating: 2
Or a country as big as China up north to bail them out (likely they would still do so even now). See the Korean War.


By Suntan on 4/6/2009 3:55:15 PM , Rating: 2
Nor was Iraq nestled right up in the armpit of a country like China.

Show of hands, how many people think China would have reacted differently than it did when Iraq was invaded if it had been NK that was invaded??..

-Suntan


By Proxes on 4/6/2009 4:16:54 PM , Rating: 2
I'm ignorant on this but aren't we (US) technically still at war with North Korea?


By Nfarce on 4/6/2009 4:43:25 PM , Rating: 2
Technically we (and South Korea) are at a cease fire with the DPRK. War could start back up at any time, which is why on both sides, border soldiers face each other 7x24.

I just find the label D emocratic P eople's R epublic of K orea so offensive...


By Pneumothorax on 4/6/2009 5:27:50 PM , Rating: 3
Whenever you have "Democratic" in the name of a country it usually means Democracy is the furthest from the truth for that country's government.

Also whenever you have the "People's Blah Blah, the country is almost never for the benefit of the "People"


By Solandri on 4/6/2009 9:39:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm ignorant on this but aren't we (US) technically still at war with North Korea?

Technically yes. The war ended with a cease fire, not a peace treaty. But technically it wasn't a war, it was a U.N. police action (U.S.S.R. were boycotting the Security Council and China's seat was held by Taiwan when it passed the resolution for military action in response to N. Korea's invasion). The U.S. provided the bulk of the troops, but about two dozen countries provided military and support personnel.

Beyond semantics, the war is really one of the big sticking points with any contemporary dealings with North Korea. NK doesn't recognize South Korea as a legitimate country. It views it as a puppet state of the U.S. So it is always maneuvering to try to get one-on-one negotiations with the U.S., excluding SK. The U.S. always insists on the involvement of all major parties involved in the war: NK and SK, the U.S., Japan, China, and Russia.


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