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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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RE: Resolution 1718
By Suntan on 4/6/2009 3:48:31 PM , Rating: 1
How are Japan's and the United States' responses at all self-centered when they're concerned about a country of questionable morals obtaining the means to slaughter millions of people?

Because NK developing the capability to land nuclear weapons on American, Japanese or South Korean soil will directly impact America and Japan (and South Korea but they were not mentioned in the previous post) more so than the rest of the world. Therefore, we have more of a vested interest in stopping that from happening than most other countries.

The reality is that America and Japan would barely even pay lip service to NK if intelligence showed that NK had no real interest of ever doing anything outside of its own borders and only wanted to continue repressing its own people. Sorry, but that’s reality.

Just because America and Japan are motivated because it personally benefits them, it doesn’t mean it is the wrong course of action.

And let’s not forget, NK already has the means to slaughter millions of people… ..there own.

Also, there is no disservice being done to the people of North Korea, only to its leaders and government.

The relatively small group of leaders I was talking about *was* the NK government. The “disservice” is being done to the NK people in that they are being made to live a repressed lifestyle more akin to centuries past. I was not referring to the US or Japanese government there.

How you can even attempt to marginalize the actions of North Korea over the past few years is completely beyond me.

I was not marginalizing anything. You miss-read my post.

I would add though that to insinuate that their actions “over the past few years” is in any way more deplorable than their actions have been for many, many years is to once again take the purely selfish stance that only the things that directly effect places like the US or Japan are the activities that are considered “deplorable.”


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