Atlantis Online
May 30, 2020, 08:28:54 pm
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Did Humans Colonize the World by Boat?
Research suggests our ancestors traveled the oceans 70,000 years ago
  Home Help Arcade Gallery Links Staff List Calendar Login Register  

North Korea rocket launch 'fails'

Pages: [1]   Go Down
Author Topic: North Korea rocket launch 'fails'  (Read 17 times)
Christi Ferrari
Sr. Member
Posts: 57

« on: April 05, 2009, 06:14:31 pm »

North Korea rocket launch 'fails'
US military and South Korea dismiss state's claims of successfully putting a satellite into orbit
Comments () Tania Branigan in Beijing, Sunday 5 April 2009 13.07 BST

South Koreans watch news of North Korea's rocket launch on television at Seoul railway station. Photograph: Jo Yong-Hak/REUTERS

North Korea today defied mounting international pressure when it launched a long-range rocket, with the move triggering an emergency meeting of the UN security council.

The state's official news agency said it had successfully put a satellite into orbit and said the satellite was transmitting revolutionary songs as it circled the Earth.

However, both the US military and South Korea said the satellite had failed to orbit, with the payload dropping into the sea.

The US president, Barack Obama, led international condemnation of the launch, which Washington and others see as a test of weapons technology.

The US had initially feared that Pyongyang planned to launch a Taepodong-2 missile, theoretically capable of reaching Alaska, in breach of a UN ban.

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

"Rules must be binding, violations must be punished, words must mean something."

The multi-stage rocket lifted off at 11.30am (2.30am GMT) from the Musudan-ri site in north-eastern North Korea.

The US northern command said stage one of the missile fell into the Sea of Japan and the remaining stages along with the payload landed in the Pacific ocean. No debris fell on Japan.

The South Korean defence minister, Lee Sang-hee, said the satellite had failed to orbit, Japan's Kyodo news agency reported.

"Based on our judgment made so far, all first, second and third [stage] rockets fell into the ocean, and thus nothing has been put into orbit," Lee reportedly said at a parliamentary session in Seoul.

Three years ago, a Taepodong-2 test failed within seconds.

Details remain unclear, but the foreign secretary, David Miliband, described this morning's North Korean move as a "satellite launch".

He accused Pyongyang of a "hostile policy" towards the rest of the world, adding: "This action contributes directly to their ballistic missile programme."

The US, Japan and South Korea argue that the launch technology for a missile is the same as that for a satellite, but will find it harder to press their case than if a Taepodong-2 had been fired.

China and Russia called for calm and restraint on all sides.

The White House described the launch as a clear breach of UN resolution 1718, passed after long-range missile and nuclear tests in 2006, which demanded that North Korea suspend "all activities related to its ballistic missile programme".

Japan's chief cabinet spokesman, Takeo Kawamura, said: "Even if a satellite was launched, we see this as a ballistic missile test ... we are highly concerned by this matter."

South Korea called it a "reckless" act that threatened regional stability.

The EU "strongly condemned" Pyongyang's step.

Tokyo had deployed warships and Patriot missile interceptors off its northern coast to shoot down any debris which might hit its territory.

But, like the US, it had already said it would not intercept the device after Pyongyang warned that shooting it down would be an "act of war" and would prompt retaliation.

US and South Korean warships, equipped with missile interceptors, plied the waters between the Korean peninsula and Japan, while Russia reportedly scrambled fighter jets to its far east in case of debris.

Japan and the US requested an emergency meeting of the security council, which will take place in New York tonight.

UN diplomats, speaking anonymously, told Reuters no country was considering imposing new sanctions on Pyongyang they would be almost certain to be blocked by Russia and China but the starting point could be discussing a resolution for the stricter enforcement of earlier sanctions.

China has occasionally criticised its neighbour in the past, notably when Pyongyang tested a nuclear device in 2006, but has usually preferred to use its leverage as the North's main ally in private.

Shi Yinhong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University, in Beijing, said China had learned that tough measures did not work and cost it "crucial influence with Pyongyang at even more sensitive moments".

China will probably decide that bringing its neighbour back to the table to resume the stalled six-party talks on aid for nuclear disarmament is a greater priority.

The UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, today called on the North to return to the talks as he warned that the launch was not conducive to peace and stability.

Many believe that Pyongyang was aiming to grab US attention as well as test and improve its missile-related technology and advertise it to potential purchasers such as Iran.

"The test represents both a calling card for North Korea to the [Obama] administration and at the same time strengthens its bargaining position," Professor Han Sung-joo, a former South Korean foreign minister, said.

He pointed out that the nuclear test in 2006 had been a hostile act but led to bilateral negotiations with the US.

Pyongyang had warned the world that it would launch the rocket between 4 and 8 April and notified agencies such as the International Maritime Organisation, which it has not done on previous occasions.

The launch will boost morale at home, particularly because South Korea has yet to put a satellite into space.

It will bolster the position of the country's leader, Kim Jong-il, who is believed to have suffered a stroke last year but is thought to be back in charge of major decisions.

The state KCNA news agency said in a report: "Our scientists and engineers have succeeded in sending satellite Kwangmyongsong-2 into orbit by way of carrier rocket Unha-2.

"[It] was developed by our wisdom and technology, and is a proud achievement made out of our battle to upgrade our country's space scientific technology".

It added that the satellite was transmitting the Song of General Kim Il-sung and Song of General Kim Jong-il.

Kim Il-Sung, the father of the current leader, is still feted as the North's "eternal president".
Report Spam   Logged

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Pages: [1]   Go Up
Jump to:  

Powered by EzPortal
Bookmark this site! | Upgrade This Forum
SMF For Free - Create your own Forum
Powered by SMF | SMF © 2016, Simple Machines
Privacy Policy