Jun 19, 2006

North Korea Reportedly Fuels Intercontinental Missile


Left: North Korean test of Taepodong-1 missile in 1998

(Pyongyang) The US and Japan warned North Korea today against a missile launch that some sources believe is capable of a test flight that could reach as far as Alaska.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warned that "it would be a very serious matter and indeed a provocative act" if North Korea continued its test with what is believed to be a Taepodong-2 long-range ballistic missile.

The United States is meeting with members of the UN Security Council on possible responses if Pyongyang tests such a missile, said UN ambassador John Bolton.

"Right now we are in consultation with various members of the council on what steps might be taken because it obviously would be very serious," Bolton said. "But in any event we are just now in the preliminary consultations phase."

North Korea has often used saber-rattling tactics to gain trade gain concessions from the West, but missile experts believe there is a "90 percent chance" that North Korea fully intends to continue with the launch. Siphoning out the rocket fuel is considered to be a dangerous practice, and leaving the corrosive fuel in the rocket will destroy internal seals.

While there exists a threat North Korea of delivering chemical, nuclear, or biological weapons in the Taepodong-2, some believe that the greater danger in a successful test is that North Korea will be able to market the missile to other countries.


Anonymous said...

Nothing to this - just more N. Korean attention-getting.

Kate said...

Sure. That's probably right.

I don't know what anybody'd get worked up about. This axis of evil - that's a Bush trick right?

I mean if N. Korea and Iran have nuclear bombs that they can shoot off on long range missiles - that's not really a problem is it? It's not they've a history of harming other nations. Or civilians. They're probably really good guys.

No sweat. Right?

Dariush said...


Once again, for the record, Iran hasn't invaded another nation (Afghanistan, if you want to look it up) in well over a hundred years.

Iran hasn't invaded a European nation since its wars with the Greek city-states prior to the time of Alexander. Unless you count the Scythians, Sarmatians, Cimmerians, etc.

In short, media-driven hysteria aside, Iran doesn't have a history of "harming other nations".

Would that other nations, or at least the heads of government of other nations, who like to point fingers and make accusations, could say the same.

-Sepp said...

I think the Iranians could have saved themselves a lot of troubles by NOT taking the U.S embassy staff hostage for 444 days while they had their revolution. THAT Dariush, is the reason for the bad taste in America's mouth when it comes to Iran. Hostage taking = terrorism and their new government condoned it in 1979. N. Korea which relies on other nations to feed it's populace can find the funds to build missiles and conduct nuclear weapon development should change it's focus. My guess is that aid is about to be cut off when this missile is tested and the real sabre rattling will begin.

historymike said...

I would be all for de-nuking Iran if we simultaneously de-nuked Israel, Pakistan, and India in the Middle East and Central Asia.

Until that happens our cries about "dangerous" Iran ring hollow. Israel has between 100-200 nukes, and India and Pakistan can destroy each other several times over.

None of the aforementioned parties is a signatory to the NPT, by the way, except Iran.

Agreed, Sepp, that North Korea is heavily reliant on aid to survive. I think they believe the test will show them to be a legitimate threat, and that a successful test is necessary to extract concessions from the West.

-Sepp said...

HM, I think the world has had about enough of N. Korea's antics. The days of "we will attack the south...unless you feed us" Or, "we will build nuclear weapons...unless you feed us" is starting to fall on deaf ears. Nations have been rewarding N. Korea's belligerance to keep the peace for far too long. I'd say screw the aid package and let them deal with it. When they threaten war, call the bluff. Starving troops never fight for too long and tend to surrender in order to get fed.

Kate said...

I think you're probably right dariush. You've brought me around. And here I thought that with the stated intent to wipe Isreal off the map and the statements that America was evil and should also go were a bit worrisome. Iran's president is actually a good guy and the whole lunatic dictator act has been a smoke screen to hide his softer, more gentle side.

Iran would be a good neighbor with nuclear arms. You heard it here first from dariush :-)

What's your take on N. Korea? Same thing? Let them have nukes - they're good guys?

Kate said...

1. I realize I ranted about the wrong nuclear program :-) and 2. did anybody know about this missile defense program? Has been 'recently in development'?


SEOUL, South Korea (Reuters) -- The United States has moved its ground-based interceptor missile defense system from test mode to operational amid concerns over an expected North Korean missile launch, a U.S. defense official said Tuesday.....

The U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed a Washington Times report that the Pentagon has activated its missile defense system, which has been in the developmental stage for years.

"It's good to be ready," the official said.

Hooda Thunkit said...

Nuclear poker; everyone wants to play, but no one wants to raise or call.

"How about a nice game of chess?" -Joshua

Dariush said...

Kate, the "wiped off the map" phrase was discussed here back in early May.

Your love for the Zionist state is touching, but even if Ahmadinejad gave a speech tomorrow, decked out in a cape, with visibly protruding fangs, and said "blaah blaah, I vaaahnt to suuuck your blooood... and drive the jooos into the sea" it wouldn't make a lick of difference, since Iran is not any kind of military threat to Israel. Not now, and not ten years in the future when it will, in all likelihood produce its first nuclear weapon.

As for the suggestion that Iran poses any sort of military or existential threat to the U.S... well... hysteria is a poor substitute for level-headed rationality. And I should stop right there before I say anything that might be construed as being sexist or misogynistic.

Peahippo said...

The major arms dealers of the world are Western Europe, the United States, and the CIS. So ... why is it any threat whatsoever OTHER THAN ALREADY POSED BY WESTERN ARMS SALES that North Korea may sell or retain such a missile?

The Western Imperium marches onward, oblivious to the jaw-dropping hypocrisy by which it comports itself. WMDs of many types are genies long escaped from their bottles, and courting world war to control them is only going to lead to the militaristic atrocities that the controllers claim to want to avoid. The USA has well enacted such farces before, per the "we had to destroy the village in order to save it" reasoning ... which continues to operate in Iraq, what with Fallujah, etc.

It's time for the West to face facts. North Korea is going to arm itself. So is Iran. As sovereign nations they have every right to do so. In Iran's case, it's more than a right, it's now a duty ... since Iran can see perfectly well what happens to an Islamic oil state under threat from the United States -- eventually, it gets INVADED. If Iran continues to lack WMDs in the face of Western aggression, it can only be invaded and occupied well within the lifetime of any native regime.

As for the concessions games ... NK is probably going to win those quite handily. The belligerance of the West towards rising WMD states is so large and without rational restriction that it's dead easy to play upon such in order to gain significant concessions. Even the strongly militaristic American Emperor Ronald Reagan talked tough publicly, yet allowed many compromises behind the scenes.