North Korea plans covert missile test

Both Japan and the U.S. say they’re prepared to shoot it down


North Korea plans covert missile testLate last month, North Korea announced it was getting ready to launch a satellite into space. If the news had been coming from anywhere other than the isolated Communist regime, that might have been the end of it. But while North Korea is calling it a “satellite launch,” U.S. and Japanese officials say it’s likely a long-range missile test—and they’re prepared to shoot it down.

The U.S. and Japan say the Kwangmyongsong-2, which North Korea describes as an “experimental communication satellite,” isn’t the problem; it’s the rocket that will carry it into orbit that’s raising issues. They fear the launch is actually a covert test of North Korea’s Taphodon-2 missile, the most advanced weapon in the country’s arsenal. The missile has the capacity to travel an estimated 6,700 km, allowing it to strike military bases in Japan, Guam and even Alaska.

The announcement comes at a critical time, when the North Korean regime has been straining relations with South Korea. North Korean generals met with the U.S.-led UN military command in South Korea earlier this month for the first time in seven years to protest joint military exercises. According to local news reports, North Korean officials warned that holding such exercises “at a moment when the situation on the Korean peninsula is already tense would only raise more tension.” Pyongyang also recently cut off talks with Seoul and has threatened to annihilate South Korea unless it opens the border to allow aid to flow north.

According to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency, the launch won’t take place until late March or early April. In the meantime, Japan’s prime minister, Taro Aso, says he plans to take the issue to the UN’s Security Council. Any rocket launch by North Korea, even one carrying a satellite for civilian use, he warned, would lead to immediate sanctions.

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North Korea plans covert missile test

  1. Pyongyang also recently cut off talks with Seoul and has threatened to annihilate South Korea unless it opens the border to allow aid to flow north.
    I’m starving here, and you’re my only hope: If you don’t start feeding me I’ll kill you. Because even though I’m starving, I have put all my energy into being able to kill you.
    Well, that’s one way to ask for help. And, given the system of social assumptions the NoKo regime works with, it’s not a surprising one.

    • Noko never has threatened to annihilate S.Korea just because of S.Korea’s close action the border.
      it seems wrong as the reporter misunderstood what exactly going on.

      in fact, S.Korea being eager to open the closed boarder (some S.Korean businesses are running in DPRK regions -west side of N.Korea) which blocked by NK recent since few days ago.

  2. Activating the missile defense shield in response to this would be poorly advised.

    a) N Korean technology is extremely poor. As their nuclear test two years ago demonstrated, they do not have sufficient technological sophistication to pose a meaningful threat to the United States.

    b)The risk of causing a military conflict might be low, but it should be avoided at all costs. The North Koreans have the third largest standing military in the world, and would be nearly impossible to defeat given the military assets the US has in the region. N Korea has a very real capability to level Seoul with its medium range artillery positions. This is a conflict would could quickly spiral out of control.

    c) Failure of the MD interception would expose a weakness to the Chinese and Russian systems (who the MDI was really meant to deter) and would provide them with real world data as to the performance of the kill vehicles. The tactical loss would be huge.

    • a) they may not be nearly as technologically advanced. But a long range ballistic missile travels so fast that it wouldn’t really matter. Seattle would still be reduced to rubble if the poop hit the fan. Now that will never happen. But still.
      b) I agree. Also the fact that the North Korean Military would be basically impossible to defeat without nuclear, biological or chemical weapons. Simple because of all of the mountains in the country that are thoroughly bunkered up. As well all of the landmines, sea-mines, and other 50 year old defences laying in wait for invading forces also would be devastating to any invading force.
      c) The technology doesn’t work, and won’t ever. George W claimed the patriot defence system worked 97% of the time in Iraq. What he doesn’t say is how many times it had to fire before it hit something. They are better off developing a giant laser gun to deal with missile threats. As for the Chinese and Russians, they have little or no ability (as far as we know) to stop ICBM’s so i think its alright.

        • 8 tests in 9-10 years seems rather dubious. I wonder if they tested this in different weather conditions, with less experienced operators etc. It seems rather sketchy that they’ve done so few tests given the amount of time they’ve had.

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