[FPSPACE] NK launch failure...update (Perhaps another long-range rocket test)

Peter Pesavento pjp961 at svol.net
Fri Apr 13 16:34:59 EDT 2012

>From the Daily Mail (UK)





US sources confirm it exploded after it "flared brightly" 90 seconds into
the launch.


Not quite ready for world domination yet then: North Korea launches
long-range rocket... but it blows up 90 SECONDS after take-off (so what went

*	Embarrassing moment for North Korea as long-range rocket shatters
minutes after launch 
*	Leader Kim Jong-Un defiant as he unveils of statue of his father
intended to cap 'triumph' of rocket launch  
*	Cost of the operation was estimated at $850million, enough to buy
2.5million tonnes of corn and 1.4million tonnes of rice
*	White House described launch as 'provocative' 
*	Fears rogue nation will now push ahead with nuclear tests
*	The U.S. and South Korea believe the launch may be a cover for
testing a long-range ballistic missile 
*	New video emerges believed to show wreckage of crashed rocket

By Daniel

PUBLISHED: 18:33 EST, 12 April 2012 | UPDATED: 10:39 EST, 13 April 2012 

North Korea's rocket scientists have been forced to hang their heads in
collective shame following the spectacular failure of their latest
long-range missile which blew up moments after launch. 

Military leaders had hoped to show off their nation's technological prowess
by blasting a satellite into orbit in what the West had called a covert test
of missile technology and a flagrant violation of international resolutions.

But in deeply embarrassing episode for the communist country and its new
leader Kim Jong-Un, the Unha-3, or 'Milky Way', rocket exploded 90 seconds
after blast off and came crashing down into the Yellow Sea.

According to U.S. defence officials, the rocket flared brightly and
apparently exploded about 90 seconds into flight.

In the past North Korea have always declared their launches successful
despite evidence to the contrary from the international community.

But there are expected to be severe repercussions following the failure of
the mission which was supposed to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of
national founder Kim Il-sung.

'This is the first crisis for the new leader that has just taken over,' said
Lee Jong-won, a professor at Waseda University in Tokyo.

'It is inevitable that they will look to find who is responsible for the
failure, and I wonder what the treatment will be for those in the military
and the hard-line officers who have pressed for the launch.'

North Korea had planned to make 2012 the year in which it became a 'strong
and prosperous nation' and the launch was part of a programme to burnish its

It even, unusually, invited foreign media in to cover the birthday
celebrations and showed them the launch site.

Kim was named First Secretary of the Workers Party of Korea on Wednesday, as
he accumulates titles and posts similar to those held by his father, Kim
Jong-il who died in December.

The country is one of the most tightly controlled states on earth, with no
free media and a tight grip on its population. 

Worryingly some spectators have suggested the failure will prompt North
Korea to press ahead with its third nuclear test to show its military

A senior South Korean defence ministry official told a parliamentary
hearing: 'The possibility of an additional long-range rocket launch or a
nuclear test, as well as a military provocation to strengthen internal
solidarity is very high.

'The two Koreas are divided by the world's most militarised border and
remain technically at war after an armistice ended the Korean War in 1953.'

The launch came just weeks after a 'Leap Year' deal that saw Washington
agree to provide food aid. Among the promises Pyongyang made in return was
not to launch any long range rocket or undertake nuclear tests.

In response to the launch the United States has now cancelled a planned food
aid deal with the rogue state.

A White House official, aboard Air Force One, told reporters: 'We are not
going forward with any agreement to provide them with assistance.'

There is likely to be pressure from leading countries to impose more
sanctions on the North. But it poses difficulties for China which will
likely resist further sanctions even though its own diplomacy failed to stop
the rocket launch.

'After giving so much aid to North Korea, it still did not listen to China,
and this hurt China-North Korea relations and erodes domestic support in its
continued support of North Korea,' said Shen Dingli, a professor and
regional security expert at Shanghai's Fudan University.

'This also undermines confidence in the U.S.-China relationship, and whether
China had done enough to persuade the North. So, China is also a loser, but
not as big a loser as if North Korea succeeded in its launch,' he said.

A tough push for sanctions, which Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda
pledged, could lead a show of defiance from the North such as a nuclear
test, or an attack like the one in 2010 that saw it shell a South Korean
island, killing civilians.

'Rather than any conventional provocation, I think North Korea will watch
what U.S. and South Korea are doing and prepare for a nuclear test,' said
Chung Young-chul, a professor at Sogang University's Graduate School of
Public Policy.

The United States and Japan said the rocket, which they claimed was a
disguised missile test and the North said was to put a satellite into orbit,
crashed into the sea after travelling a much shorter distance than a
previous North Korean launch.

Its failure immediately raised questions over the impoverished North's
reclusive leadership which maintains one of the world's largest standing
armies but which cannot feed its people without outside aid, largely from
its solitary powerful backer, China.

'There is no question that the failed launch turns speculation toward the
ramifications for the leadership in Pyongyang: a fireworks display gone bad
on the biggest day of the year,' said Scott Snyder of the Council on Foreign

In a highly unusual move, the North, which still claims success with a 2009
satellite that others say failed, admitted in a state television broadcast
seen by its 23 million people that the latest satellite had not made it into

The failure is the first major and very public challenge for the third of
the Kim dynasty to rule North Korea just months into the leadership of a man
believed to be in his late 20s.

'It could be indication of subtle change in the North Korean leadership in
how they handle these things, something that may be different from the
past,' said Baek Seung-joo of the Korea Institute of Defense Analyses a
thinktank affiliated with South Korean Defence Ministry.

'I mean it would have been unthinkable for them to admit this kind of
failure in the past, something that could be seen as an international
humiliation. The decision to have come out with the admission had to come
from Kim Jong-un.'

Embarrassingly, the rocket flew for just a few minutes covering a little
over 100km to explode over a sea separating the Korean peninsula and China,
far less than the last rocket in 2009 that travelled 3,800km, alarming Japan
which it over-flew.

The launch is in breach of United Nations Security Council sanctions and
drew condemnation from the United States, Russia, South Korea and Japan and
threats to tighten already harsh sanctions aimed at stopping Pyongyang
developing nuclear weapons.

The concern is that North Korea is using launches to perfect the kind of
technology that would enable it to build a missile capable of delivering a
nuclear warhead to the United States.

North Korea has repeatedly defended its right to launch rockets for what it
says are peaceful purposes and may have invested hundreds of millions of
dollars in the failed launch.

China, the North's main backer, again appealed for 'calm', although its
failure to dissuade Pyongyang from undertaking the launch despite propping
up the ailing and impoverished state, showed the limitations of its
diplomacy, analysts said.

'Despite the failure of its attempted missile launch, North Korea's
provocative action threatens regional security, violates international law
and contravenes its own recent commitments,' White House spokesman Jay
Carney said in a statement.

Foreign ministers of the Group of Eight leading industrial nations condemned
the launch as in breach of U.N. Security Council resolutions.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command, NORAD, said the first stage
fell into the sea west of South Korea, and the remainder was deemed to have

'No debris fell on land,' NORAD said. 'At no time were the missile or the
resultant debris a threat.

The U.N. Security Council will meet to discuss a possible response to North
Korea's rocket launch today, said council diplomats. 

Earlier this week U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said the
15-nation council should 'respond credibly' to a North Korean missile

Western diplomats say that the most China, a permanent veto-wielding council
member and North Korea's protector, would accept is a rebuke of Pyongyang.

New sanctions, they said on condition of anonymity, are out of the question.

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