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North Korea "lights the candle"

From AFP, via Yahoo! News:

North Korea fired a long-range rocket on Sunday, South Korea's presidential office told AFP.

"The launch took place at 11:30:15" (0230 GMT plus 15 seconds), said spokeswoman Kim Eun-Hye, adding a statement denouncing the launch would be issued later.

The presidential palace said it was too early to say whether the launch had been a technical success.

The South Korean government said it regrets the "reckless" North Korean launch, according to a spokesman.

The rocket appears to have crossed over Japan and reached airspace over the Pacific Ocean, the Japanese government said in an email alert.

The rocket boosters have fallen into the water as expected, according to the Japanese government.

North Korea had said the rocket's first stage would fall in the sea 75 kilometres (about 50 miles) west of Japan, and the second stage would plunge into the Pacific.

Japan did not try to intercept the rocket and there were no reports of damage or injuries in Japan from the launch, police said.

The US State Department confirmed North Korea's launch of a long-range missile and called it a "provocative act."

The North had said it intended to launch an experimental communications satellite -- an exercise that critics said would be a disguised ballistic missile test.

Democrats ignored the diplomatic bungling of the Clinton Administration and held President Bush solely responsible for North Korea's 2006 nuclear test, even though R&D had been ongoing for over a decade. It will be interesting to see if those same people are willing to lay the blame for today's NORK missile launch squarely on Barack Obama, simply because he is the current occupant of the White House. I know, I know ... I won't be holding my breath.
________________________________

UPDATE: NORAD says the test was a failure. The payload (whatever it was, most probably not a communications satellite) failed to achieve orbit and fell harmlessly into the Pacific Ocean.

Regarding my previous comment, I have no doubt that had a missile launch occurred before Jan. 20, 2009, the Left-wing blogosphere and punditry would have erupted in a unison chorus of "it's all Bush's fault" and "Bush's diplomacy is a failure". But faulting anyone over this incident seems to be largely irrelevant. We should rightly view this launch as a test meant to prick the finger of the world, then see how they respond.

It is ironic that this test coincides with President Obama's call for a renewed worldwide commitment to ban nuclear weapons. The world is full of tin-pot dictators (and ubiquitous menaces like Russia) who are eagerly anticipating a decline in the economic and political power held by the West since World War II. Disarmament -- and trust me, it will never be "multilateral" -- is certainly the most expedient way to bring about that decline.

Michelle Malkin
remembers Joe Biden's prediction that President Obama would be tested by an international crisis early in his term.


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Comments (10)

I am bitterly disappointed ... (Below threshold)
Paul_In_Houston:

I am bitterly disappointed that the Japanese didn't go for it and attempt to shoot it out of the sky using their Aegis-equipped destroyers.

Did we pressure them to not do something that would embarrass a man who is bound and determined to kill our own missile defense systems?

-

I'm just waiting for the in... (Below threshold)
Deke:

I'm just waiting for the international incident shoe to drop on the great one. I can see it now, North Korea takes American soldiers prisoner after declaring they crossed the DMZ. Obama will go to the U.N., who of course will pass dozens of resolutions, he will make a call for international sanctions, all ignored, the crisis will drag on for a year or 2 as he's shown to be weak and undecided and the enemies of our country will become more imboldned as we become more dispirited.

Seems like I've heard about this happening before....OH YEA! Carter I really think Obama = Carter II

A few questions... <p... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

A few questions...

What would NK need a comsat for? All they need to do is put a cell phone tower ontop of the Ryugyong hotel, and they've got 90% of the country covered.

And what's the orbit of the thing? If it's not up to the geosyncronous level, it's not going to be very useful as a comsat. If it's a spy satellite, they'd be able to do the job cheaper, faster, and with better resolution using Google Earth.

With all the problems facing NK, you'd think they'd be spending the money on something else, like food to relieve the famine.

In response to "Deke" and r... (Below threshold)

In response to "Deke" and really to VP Joe ... what's his name.. I don't see any way that BHO will be "tested" in public by ANY state or semi-state in the first three years of his reign. Why "test him" and harden him when he is so anxious to give so much away?

The States, semi-States, and un-States will make nice and squeeze the Internationalist Obama, Clinton, and avowed-anti-American Harold Koh like a tube of toothpaste. THEN.. when they have gotten everything they can out of the administration.. THEN.. after our military has had three years of muscle-cutting spending... THEN.. they will Test.

This N. Korean missile thing is just an artifact. Iran and other bad actors are going to be pussy cats for a few years while Obama thinks he is winning hearts and minds with his smile. THEN.. the real testing will begin.

North Korea was likely tryi... (Below threshold)
Paul Hooson:

North Korea was likely trying to impress missile buyers in Iran and other countries about their export missiles, but the test firing likely fell way short of impressing these countries, although the range would certainly threaten Israel if Iran is interested. With a nuclear warhead, a big dumb North Korean type missile owned by Iran would certainly present a grave threat to Israel even if the guidance system is not very good.

Wonder what Kim will extort... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Wonder what Kim will extort from the west now in order to get him to stop his missile tests. More fuel oil? More food? Too bad no one has the guts to cut him off. People tend to get very angry when their starving.

Kim knows Obama is an appea... (Below threshold)
914:

Kim knows Obama is an appeaser that He can milk for some U.S. taxpayer dollars ( witness Hamas ) so expect more provocation from NK and more Bush blaming by the apologizer of the United States.

Kim is not the brightest de... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Kim is not the brightest dear leader NK has ever had. He should know that Obama is trying to kill missile defense and NK launching a missile makes that so much harder. Kim should wait until Obama has killed missile defense and weakened the U.S. military, and then test a bomb and a missile on the same day. That would be much more effective in extracting tribute from the U.S.

I'm glad whatever it was di... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

I'm glad whatever it was didn't make orbit - I keep thinking about a well-timed nuclear explosion doing a massive EMP number on the electronic infrastructure of the US.

And you have to ask yourself - would countries like North Korea and Iran DO that? Would Iran EMP Europe if they could?

Civilization depends on a lot of things at the present time, but we've made ourselves VERY dependent on the microprocessor to control everything from telecommunications and power grids to cars and watches. Destroy the microprocessor in the US - and we're gonna be in deep trouble.

I am not sure why some are ... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

I am not sure why some are so confident that the test was a failure. The whole satellite excuse was probably just that "an excuse" in order to have a plausible claim that they didn't violate any treaty. The whole test could very well have been to test long range missile capabilities all along. In that case it looked like a success. Hard to say for sure but to claim with great confidence that it was a failure is foolish. Granted long range missile is better than ICBM but it is one step closer in that direction.




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