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N. Korea's Unannounced Missile Launch Could Be Seen as an Attack


The US Defense Department is understandably concerned about reports that North Korea has fueled up a long-range missile. No one is certain that North Korea's purpose is just to test the missile because Pyongyang has yet to announce its intentions. DoD spokesman Bryan Whitman said if North Korea launches a long-range missile without a prior announcement of its intentions, then the US can not simply assume it's a test.

The Defense Department says in the absence of any statement by the North Korean government it will not be possible to know whether a widely expected missile launch is a test or an attack.

Spokesman Bryan Whitman would not confirm reports that North Korea is preparing to launch a long-range missile, saying he could not discuss intelligence matters. But he says if there is a launch without any advance notice from the government in Pyongyang, there will be no basis on which to assume it is only a test.

"'Test' would, to me, indicate that you are doing something like an exercise," he said. "You are testing a missile. 'Test' has intent behind it, as opposed to launching a missile. When you are launching a missile, to me, you [others] do not know what the intent of the launch is, you [others] do not know if the launch is intended to be a test or something else."

The Pentagon spokesman hinted to reporters that if North Korea launches a missile the United States might use its new missile defense system.

"The United States does have a limited missile defense system. I will not get into or discuss any specific alert status or capabilities," added Whitman.

No word from Pyongyang after the US issued a warning not to launch the missile.

Update: Drudge reports that Bill Gertz will have an article in Tuesday's Washington Times which says that the Pentagon has activated its interceptor missile defense system:

Gertz reports: The U.S. missile defense system includes 11 long-range interceptor missiles, including nine deployed at Fort Greeley, Alaska, and two at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The system was switched from test to operational mode within the past two weeks, the officials said.

Updated II: Check out Spook86 at In From the Cold who has been following this situation. After 20 years in military intelligence, he has a very interesting perspective.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference N. Korea's Unannounced Missile Launch Could Be Seen as an Attack:

» Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator linked with Rice Warns North Korea Not to Test Long-Range Missile

Comments (8)

and why should we believe t... (Below threshold)

and why should we believe them if they do say it is a test?

I guess We will have to dro... (Below threshold)

I guess We will have to drop it right before their eyes?

N. Korea is on China's leas... (Below threshold)

N. Korea is on China's leash. They just refuse to yank it because they're having too much fun watching them hump our leg.

I say we fuel up our own missle pointed at Bejing and let them know we're tired of this little game.

Ours (several hundred) are ... (Below threshold)

Ours (several hundred) are gassed and ready. Given the lauch order they will wipe North Korea from the map in about 22 minutes + - a few seconds. Tell Kim to assume the only position available during a nuclear attack, bend over, put your head between your legs and kiss your a** goodbye. LMAO Several years in the Strategic Air Command (SAC). 2.5 years at 'why not Minot'. The minutemen are thawed out by now.

Hey Im only about 300 miles... (Below threshold)

Hey Im only about 300 miles from Minot. think i will see the rockets red glare? haha

If the BMD systems at Greel... (Below threshold)

If the BMD systems at Greeley and Vandenburg are truly operational, then let Dear Leader launch his TD-2...and watch him spaz all over Asia when an SM-2 or SM-3 kisses it goodnight.

BTW Spook86 has been posting on this issue in depth for the past few days...he's a former USAF intel guy whose blog I follow religiously in regards to matters such as this.


I wonder if we could convin... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

I wonder if we could convince Kim Jong-il to launch his missile at the Iranian nuclear enrichment facility. That'd really show us who's the boss.

If the Russians didn't laun... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

If the Russians didn't launch a couple of thousand missles at us, then Kim isn't going to launch one, or two, or even a couple of dozen. The one thing he has got to know, is that the cloud over head is not water vapor, but several hundred nuks raining down on his head. No one walks into the tigers cage and slaps him up side the head. The nuks are a problem; the missles are not.






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