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World Council for the Cedars Revolution

Mar 03rd
Home arrow News Content arrow Blog arrow Blog Items arrow Intelligence arrow North Korea launch called reckless, provocative
North Korea launch called reckless, provocative PDF Print E-mail
Written by AFP   
Sunday, 05 April 2009


North Korea's rocket launch rattled all of East Asia on Sunday and US President Barack Obama led global condemnation of "a provocative act" that he said required a strong international response.

Obama said nuclear-armed North Korea had tested a ballistic missile in defiance of UN resolutions. South Korea, which called the act "reckless", and Japan put their militaries on heightened alert.

China and Russia pleaded for restraint while the UN Security Council was called into emergency session.

Comments of censure were quickly fired from world capitals after the isolated Stalinist state launched what it said was a satellite broadcasting "immortal revolutionary songs".

"Now is the time for a strong international response. North Korea must know that the path to security and respect will never come through threats and illegal weapons," Obama said in a speech on nuclear proliferation in Prague.

A statement released by his office earlier called the launch a "provocative act" showing that North Korea "has ignored its international obligations, rejected unequivocal calls for restraint, and further isolated itself from the community of nations."

The United States believes the missile carrier could reach Alaska.

The rocket flew over Japanese territory and some of the booster engines landed off the Japanese coast but the government took no action to shoot it down as it had warned it might. But Japan has warned the North of new sanctions.

"It is an extremely provocative action. Japan can never overlook it," Japan's Prime Minister Taro Aso told reporters. He said Japan would work with other nations to take action against North Korea.

South Korea put its 680,000 military on heightened alert and a presidential spokesman called the launch a "reckless" threat to international security, threatening a firm response.

"Regardless of any North Korean claims, this is provocative activity which threatens stability and peace on the Korean peninsula and in Northeast Asia," said Foreign Minister Yu Myung-Hwan.

Yu noted that the launch "required an enormous amount of money, which could have been used to solve its chronic food shortage."

The European Union, Britain, France, Germany, Australia and New Zealand all joined the condemnation.

The United States and Japan called for the emergency UN Security Council meeting on Sunday.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, a South Korean, said: "Given the volatility in the region, as well as a stalemate in interaction among the concerned parties, such a launch is not conducive to efforts to promote dialogue, regional peace and stability."

China, Pyongyang's closest ally, and Russia both urged restraint.

"We hope relevant parties will remain calm and restrained, handle the situation properly, and together maintain peace and stability in the region," China's foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said in a statement.

"We call on all involved states to show restraint in their evaluations and actions in the situation that has arisen," Russian foreign ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said in a statement.

An official in Russia's foreign ministry was quoted earlier by the state Novosti news agency as saying Moscow was examining if the launch violated UN Security Council resolutions.

China, Russia, the United States, South Korea and the United Nations have all tried to engage the North in talks on ending its nuclear weapons programme.

The secretive Pyongyang government has regularly ignored international pleas to make concessions. It has technically remained at war with South Korea since their 1950-1953 conflict, which ended without a peace treaty.



FAST FACTS: A Glance at North Korea's Missile Arsenal
Thursday, March 26, 2009  FOX NEWS

A look at North Korea's missile arsenal:

TAEPODONG: This group of rockets is the pinnacle of North Korea's missile technology. Though known to the outside world as Taepodong, North Korea uses the name Unha, or Galaxy. Pyongyang claims they are space launch vehicles (SLVs) to launch satellites for a peaceful space program. Satellite and missile technologies are interchangeable.

_ ADVANCED TAEPODONG-2: Under development. Potential range: about 5,000 miles, putting the U.S. West coast, Hawaii, Australia and eastern Europe within striking distance.

_ TAEPODONG-2: Three-stage rocket with potential range of more than 4,100 miles, putting Alaska within striking distance. South Korea says the rocket fizzled soon after takeoff in a July 2006 test. First two stages are liquid-fueled, while the third is believed to be solid-fueled. Iranian engineers are thought to have observed the 2006 launch. Cooperation with Iran has been extensive; Iran's Safir-Omid space launch vehicle owes much to the Taepodong.

_ TAEPODONG-1: Estimated range of 1,550 miles, according to South Korea. North is believed to have test-launched the missile in August 1998, calling it a Kwangmyongsong-2 satellite mounted onto a Paektusan-1 rocket. Launch shocked the world because it was well beyond North Korea's known capability at the time. The second stage flew over Japan into waters off the country's east coast. Both lower stages are liquid-fueled, with a potential solid-fueled third stage. Payload is thought to be about 750 pounds. Accuracy is believed poor, with no meaningful strike capability.


NEW MISSILE: North Korea has fielded a new intermediate-range ballistic missile, according to South Korea's Defense Ministry. With a range of 1,800 miles, it could reach Guam, northern Australia, most of Russia and parts of India. North Korea reportedly used Russian SS-N-6 submarine-launched ballistic missile technology for the mobile, land-based missile. It reportedly is liquid-fueled with one or two stages. Some reports say North Korea put the new missile on display during a 2007 military parade. Accuracy is unknown.


NODONG: Japan is the likely target of this short-range missile. Nodong is almost identical to Iran's Shahab-3 and Pakistan's Ghauri II (Hatf V), the strongest evidence of the countries' collaboration and of North Korean sale of technology and missile equipment to others. All three countries continue to refine the design. Estimated range of 620 to 930 miles and maximum payload of 2,200 pounds. They are single-stage, liquid-fueled missiles on mobile launchers. Most have fairly poor accuracy, though some may have been fitted with warhead separation and more modern guidance systems.


SCUD: Single-stage, liquid-fueled missile with a range of up to 500 miles. Known in North Korea by the name Hwasong, the SCUD B and SCUD C can reach only South Korea, but the SCUD D could target Japan. Accuracy is extremely poor. Ballistic missile programs in Pakistan and Iran were built on SCUD technology.



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