North Korea successfully fired a long-range rocket on Wednesday, defying international warnings as the regime of Kim Jong Un took a giant step forward in its quest to develop the technology to deliver a nuclear warhead.
The United States, South Korea and Japan quickly condemned the morning launch, which came as something of a surprise after Pyongyang had indicated technical problems might delay it. That it succeeded after several failed attempts was an even greater surprise.
The regime’s stated purpose for firing its long-range Unha-3 rocket was to put a peaceful satellite into orbit, but the United Nations, as well as the U.S. and its allies see it as cover for a test of technology for missiles.
About two hours after the launch, North Korea’s state media proclaimed it a success, prompting customers in the coffee shop at Pyongyang’s Koryo Hotel to break into applause during a special television broadcast. The North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, later confirmed that North Korea did appear to have put an object into space.
Wednesday’s launch is likely to bring fresh sanctions on the North, and the White House called it a “highly provocative act that threatens regional security.”
NORAD said the rocket traveled south with the first stage falling into the Yellow Sea and a second stage falling into the Philippine Sea hundreds of miles farther south. “Initial indications are that the missile deployed an object that appeared to achieve orbit,” NORAD said in a statement.
A launch had seemed unlikely to take place so soon after North Korea announced Monday that it was extending the launch window into late December, citing technical issues in an engine.
Previous launch attempts by the North in 1998, 2006, 2009 and April this year failed to achieve their stated goal of putting a satellite into orbit and provoked international condemnation.
Pyongyang had said this rocket launch would be “true to the behests” of Kim Jong Il, the late North Korean leader and father of Kim Jong Un, head of the ruling regime.
Kim Jong Il died on December 17 last year, so the first anniversary of his death falls within the launch window that North Korea has announced.
Experts had also speculated that Pyongyang wanted this launch to happen before the end of 2012, the year that marks the centenary of the birth of Kim Il Sung, the founder of North Korea and grandfather of Kim Jong Un.
This year is the centennial of the birth of national founder Kim Il Sung, the grandfather of Kim Jong Un. According to North Korean propaganda, 2012 is meant to put the North on a path toward a “strong, prosperous and great nation.”
The launch also follows South Korea’s recent cancellation, because of technical problems, of an attempt to launch its first satellite from its own territory. Two previous attempts in 2009 and 2010 failed.
This is all my fault. It’s 2:30am here now; I had to get up to pee but then I didn’t go back to sleep. Instead I came downstairs, made a chai latte and flipped on the PC to see what was on the news. Serves me right. This wouldn’t have happened until after 9am if I’d gone right back to sleep!
So anyway, the Norks finally got one up. I wonder if this surprise launch is in reaction/a provocation to the “secret” Air Force launch yesterday of their new zillion mph spy plane/interceptor whatsis. Coincidence? Perhaps, perhaps not. Or maybe the Kims want to get their little HEMP threat running ASAP. No, not that kind of hemp, OCM. The other kind; the small nukes set off in low orbit kind that fries all the electronics here in the west in half a heartbeat.
After all, we’ve got ... 10 days left ... until the end of the world.
Obrother was probably Golfing or Something ,Again.Hillary? Likely drunk off her ass again.
I love our on the ballFfeds, Dont YOU!!