America & Japan Are Concerned About North Korea’s Rocket Launch!

North Korea is a freakin’ nuisance to more than just America. Both Japan & South Korea find their neighbor to be very worrisome as well.Although the rocket launch was deemed a military failure,it has helped North Korea politically.Here’s more on what analysts say about North Korea’s rocket launch,as reported by The Associated Press:

“U.S. and South Korean officials said the entire rocket, including whatever payload it carried, ended up in the ocean. South Korea said the second stage splashed down about 1,900 miles (3,100 kilometers) from the launch site.That is double the distance a North Korean rocket managed in 1998 and far better than a 2006 launch of a missile that fizzled 42 seconds after liftoff.

Japan, Guam, the Philippines, Mongolia and parts of China are now within range, but Anchorage, Alaska, is roughly 3,500 miles (6,000 kilometers) from the launch site. Daniel Pinkston, a Seoul-based analyst for the International Crisis Group, said the apparent failure of the rocket’s third stage to separate properly from the second stage raised questions about the reliability of the technology.

“They’re still a long ways off” from being able to successfully target and strike the United States, he said. It also is unclear whether the North has been able to miniaturize its warheads enough to load onto a rocket, he said.But John Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. and ex-U.S. undersecretary of state in charge of the North Korean nuclear dossier, said the launch was still cause for concern.

“This is far from a failure. Japan is now clearly in range, and unless you’re willing to kiss Japan goodbye, you have to be worried by this test,” he told The Associated Press.

Kim Tae-woo, an analyst at Seoul’s state-run Korea Institute for Defense Analyses, said the launch raises the stakes at the stalled six-nation talks aimed at persuading the North to give up its nuclear weapons program in exchange for aid and other concessions.Pyongyang now can seek more help because it has more to bargain away, Kim said.And, he added, “North Korea is playing a game of trying to manipulate the U.S. by getting it within range, which is the so-called pressure card.

North Korea, one of the world’s poorest countries, is in desperate need of outside aid. It has reportedly been selling missile parts and technology to whoever has the cash to pay for it.”(End of Excerpt) Read the entire article here.

Here’s a little history of North Korea Missiles from The Wisconsin Project:

1969-70: North Korea obtains FROG-5 and FROG-7A missiles from the Soviet Union.

1976: Egypt sends Soviet Scud-B missiles to North Korea.

1984: North Korea successfully tests its first reverse-engineered Scud-B missile.

1984: An Iranian businessman and a Soviet emigre are indicted in New York for conspiring to smuggle U.S. missile guidance components to North Korea.

1985: Iran agrees to finance the development of North Korean Scud missiles in exchange for Scud-B technology and an option to buy the missiles when they become available.

1987: Iran and North Korea sign a $500 million arms deal that includes the purchase of 90 to 100 Scud-Bs by Tehran.

1987-88: North Korea delivers approximately 100 Scud-B missiles to Iran.

1989: Two Japanese companies reportedly ship spectrum analyzers to North Korea, which can be used to improve missile accuracy.

1990: North Korea successfully tests a Scud-C missile, hitting targets off North Korea’s eastern coast from a base in the Kangwon Province; Iran reportedly tests what U.S. intelligence identifies as a North Korean version of the Scud-C.

1991-92: North Korea delivers an estimated 24 Scud-Cs and 20 mobile launchers to Syria, and ships additional Scuds to Syria through Iran.

1992: Russia reportedly prevents some 60 Russian rocket scientists from going to North Korea.

1992: The U.S. Department of State sanctions entities in North Korea, Iran and Syria for “missile technology proliferation activities.”

1993: North Korea successfully tests the Nodong missile to a range of about 500km.

1995: According to comments by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Iran has received four Scud TELs from North Korea.

1996: The United States and North Korea begin bilateral talks on how to curb North Korea’s missile exports and freeze its missile development.

1996: Taiwanese Customs officials reportedly seize 200 barrels (15 tons) of ammonium perchlorate on a North Korean freighter bound for Pakistan’s SUPARCO (Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission).”(End of Excerpt) Read the rest here.

Is it any wonder that China & Russia does not want North Korea to be sanctioned right now? I think not! Here’s what defectors from North Korea said about sanctions from a 2003 NY Times article:

“Six months after escaping from North Korea, she sat in the office of a human  rights group here, happily wearing a gray wool jacket, with a stylized American flag patch on the left arm and, on the back in large black script: New York Yankees.

The Kim family’s Communist dynasty – founded by Kim Il Sung and
continued by his son, Kim Jong Il – has ruled North Korea for the last half
century by maintaining what may be the world’s tightest monopoly on
information about the outside world. That grip will loosen, defectors say,
when North Koreans learn such basic facts as their rank as Northeast Asia’s  poorest nation
. Per capita income in South Korea is 13 times the level in North Korea.

Military pressure, the defectors warned, will have little effect on one of the
most militarized societies in the world
. In the mid-1990’s, during a famine,
Ms. Lee recalled, “they had this slogan: `Without the candy bowls, you can still live; but without the bullets, you cannot survive.’ ”

But behind the fire-breathing rhetoric, “the North Korean Army is in
shambles,” she added.

“The North Korean military elites are skimming from their budgets, cutting
down the average ration for soldiers,” said Ms. Lee, whose husband served in the military. “The soldiers have become very undisciplined. They steal piglets.”

Economic sanctions, if applied by China, North Korea’s largest trading
partner, might force Kim Jong Il to mothball his nuclear bomb projects, said the defectors, who all escaped through China
. But according to a report released last week by South Korea’s National Statistical Office, only 14 percent of North Korea’s limping economy depended on foreign trade in 2000, compared with 69 percent in South Korea.

When China and Russia stop giving aid, North Korea is bound to halt its
nuclear weapons program,” said Ma Young Ae, 39, a former
counterintelligence agent
who now runs a restaurant here with her new South  Korean husband.

Most of the food in Pyongyang is from China,” she said, referring to North  Korea’s capital. “The best way to stop the nuclear program is to stop the aid.” (End of Excerpt) Read the rest here.

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