North Korea announces “satellite” launch

posted at 12:10 pm on March 16, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Less than three weeks ago, North Korea agreed to a moratorium on long-range missile testing in exchange for badly-needed food.  Today, the Kim Jong-un regime announced that it would launch a satellite into orbit, just coincidentally on the very same missile platform Pyongyang has been testing for military use:

The US is … not amused:

North Korea said on Friday it will launch a long-range rocket carrying a “working” satellite to mark the centenary of founder Kim Il-sung’s birth next month, sparking condemnation from the United States and others that it was in breach of a U.N. resolution.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the announcement was highly provocative and called upon Pyongyang to honor its obligations including U.N. Security Council resolutions banning ballistic missile launches.

“Such a missile launch would pose a threat to regional security and would also be inconsistent with North Korea’s recent undertaking to refrain from long-range missile launches,” she said in a statement.

In other words — meet the new boss, same as the old boss.  This is nothing more than the same bait-and-switch from the DPRK that occurred throughout Kim Jong-il’s long reign as Supreme Leader.  They got the US to negotiate an agreement, and now want to threaten to renege in order to get more concessions.  The Kim regime would also like to split the international coalition organized to force the North to abandon its nuclear weapons, but China so far isn’t playing along:

China, the reclusive state’s only main ally, was more restrained in its response, but stressed on maintaining peace on the divided peninsula.

“Protecting the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and North East Asia suits the joint interests of all parties and is the consistent expectation of the international community. This requires that all relevant parties take a constructive role,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin told reporters at a regular news briefing.

South Korea “urge[d]” Pyongyang to abandon its plans.  Japan won’t be amused either, even if the previous test of the missile failed rather spectacularly in 2009.  That too was billed as a “satellite” launch, which no one believed then and no one will believe now.  At that time, Japan threatened to shoot down any missile that traversed its airspace, but the US left its missile-defense radar sitting on the dock of the bay in Hawaii, wasting time and opportunity.  What are the odds that President Smart Power forgets to tow it out to the ocean for this “satellite” launch, if it happens?  I’d say … high.


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At that time, Japan threatened to shoot down any missile that traversed its airspace, but the US left its missile-defense radar sitting on the dock of the bay in Hawaii, wasting time and opportunity.

Ok, Ed. If you say so…..

ted c on March 16, 2012 at 12:15 PM

How many times have we danced this dance with DPRK? You’d think we would try something different…if only because of the sore feet.

Bitter Clinger on March 16, 2012 at 12:19 PM

More claptrap from some other cave dwelling tribal hermit-kingdom subhumans.

Warm up the bombers.

AttaBoyLuther on March 16, 2012 at 12:21 PM

….and JugEars is looking for someone to apologize to!

KOOLAID2 on March 16, 2012 at 12:21 PM

You are worthress Arec Bardwin!!!

Roy Rogers on March 16, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Send in the Strongly Worded Letters!!

CurtZHP on March 16, 2012 at 12:22 PM

The nuclear games people play…

*sigh*

SD Tom on March 16, 2012 at 12:23 PM

You are worthress Arec Bardwin!!!

Roy Rogers on March 16, 2012 at 12:21 PM

And Hans Blixx will send a sternly-worded letter telling how “very, very angry” we are with you.

Bitter Clinger on March 16, 2012 at 12:24 PM

Are we supposed to offer them more food bribes to stop it? Please. I agree – warm up the bombers and begin military exercises in the vicinity. Or we could just nuke them and be done with it.

Philly on March 16, 2012 at 12:24 PM

What are the odds that President Smart Power forgets to tow it out to the ocean for this “satellite” launch, if it happens?

Maybe he’s keeping it there for a good reason…..a ‘flat earth‘ perhaps???

safety

ted c on March 16, 2012 at 12:25 PM

This is nothing more than the same bait-and-switch from the DPRK that occurred throughout Kim Jong-il’s long reign as Supreme Leader.

Why mess with success? Wah! Let diplomacy work.

rhombus on March 16, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Are we supposed to offer them more food bribes to stop it? Please. I agree – warm up the bombers and begin military exercises in the vicinity. Or we could just nuke them and be done with it.

Philly on March 16, 2012 at 12:24 PM

South Korea might have a problem with that.

Bitter Clinger on March 16, 2012 at 12:26 PM

Shocking news … so how soon before they get their next food shipment from us?

ShainS on March 16, 2012 at 12:27 PM

What would Rutherford B Hayes do with his missile defense shield? Would he just sit in his office, wonderin’ about the flat earth, hopin’ that his toy wouldn’t go rollin’ off the edge of the earth if he sailed it WNW?

things presidunces hafta ponder.

ted c on March 16, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Had we starved them to death decades ago, we wouldn’t still have this problem.

~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on March 16, 2012 at 12:31 PM

What would Rutherford B Hayes do with his missile defense shield? Would he just sit in his office, wonderin’ about the flat earth, hopin’ that his toy wouldn’t go rollin’ off the edge of the earth if he sailed it WNW?

things presidunces hafta ponder.

ted c on March 16, 2012 at 12:27 PM

WWRBH

Bitter Clinger on March 16, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Guess that should be WWRBHD

Bitter Clinger on March 16, 2012 at 12:32 PM

I don’t understand what all the fuss is about. Isn’t North Korea just a tiny little country that doesn’t pose a threat to us? You know like Iran.

Oldnuke on March 16, 2012 at 12:32 PM

I’m sorry Kim, but an old transistor radio strapped to a rocket is not a “working satellite”.

Trafalgar on March 16, 2012 at 12:33 PM

What Zero the Vacationer will ponder over today’s lobsterfest with Moochelle:

Maybe if Mad Halfbright could give them another Michael Jordan autographed basketball ? Don’t they know global priority is supposed to be Final Four?

viking01 on March 16, 2012 at 12:35 PM

Had we starved them to death decades ago, we wouldn’t still have this problem.

Karl Magnus on March 16, 2012 at 12:31 PM

They don’t need us to starve them, the Kim family has been doing it to them for decades.

Trafalgar on March 16, 2012 at 12:36 PM

I’m sorry Kim, but an old transistor radio strapped to a rocket is not a “working satellite”.

Trafalgar on March 16, 2012 at 12:33 PM

Especially when it winds up splashing in the Pacific

Bitter Clinger on March 16, 2012 at 12:37 PM

Well thank goodness the earth is flat and could never reach us!!

HumpBot Salvation on March 16, 2012 at 12:37 PM

I’d guess it’s one way to return that unwanted iPod full of speeches Obungler gave them.

viking01 on March 16, 2012 at 12:38 PM

I’m just worried about all the lead in this round…… the birds, y’know…

ted c on March 16, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Especially when it winds up splashing in the Pacific

Bitter Clinger on March 16, 2012 at 12:37 PM

When it does will we see them out in the streets of Pyongyang wailing and gnashing their teeth?

Trafalgar on March 16, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Guess that should be WWRBHD

Bitter Clinger on March 16, 2012 at 12:32 PM

That flat ‘urfer would keep his radar in port so it wouldn’t fall over the edge. In 100 years, ain’t no one gonna be needin’ no anti-missile tech or nothin’……

theories

ted c on March 16, 2012 at 12:42 PM

ted c on March 16, 2012 at 12:42 PM

“Missile defense shield? It’s a great invention, but who would ever want to use one?” – Rutherfors B. Obama

Trafalgar on March 16, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Lucy, Charlie Brown, and football. Could it really have ended any other way?

a capella on March 16, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Provocative would be it happens to fail through something we didn’t do.

Bmore on March 16, 2012 at 12:49 PM

Rutherfors B. Obama

Trafalgar on March 16, 2012 at 12:46 PM

shut it down…winnah!!
RBO

ted c on March 16, 2012 at 12:52 PM

Hmmm, I recall something like 8 out of their last 10 attempted rocket launch’s exploding either on the launch pad or shortly after lift-off. Not that I am actually implying or suggesting anything here, but that sure is a sweet aerial laser platform the US Air Force has. Damn shame all those North Korean rockets inexplicably exploded on the launch pad or right after lift off…

SWalker on March 16, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Our food shipments go straight to North Korea’s military, not to the ordinary people. The Kim cult still exists because of us. Why aren’t we letting their good buddy China feed them?

RebeccaH on March 16, 2012 at 1:17 PM

Look we might not launch the missile if you pay us…10 beeeeelion dollars.

(Actually we will anyway suckers but give us our green)

CorporatePiggy on March 16, 2012 at 1:43 PM

The irony is that the democrats behave like a bunch of gangsters at home and a total wusses when they have to do that diplomacy thang.

CorporatePiggy on March 16, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Sputnik was also put into orbit by an ICBM. Except that time it triggered the space race. These days we like to cut NASA’s budget.

Ortzinator on March 16, 2012 at 1:51 PM

The irony is that the democrats behave like a bunch of gangsters at home and a total wusses when they have to do that diplomacy thang.

CorporatePiggy on March 16, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Condi Rice didn’t exactly burnish her credentials in her dealings with the NorKors.

Bitter Clinger on March 16, 2012 at 1:58 PM

Good lord !!
We have now started with the third generation of this crap and can do no better than a ” strong” statement.
Stop rewarding this behaivior !!! They might just stop.

Jabberwock on March 16, 2012 at 2:12 PM

Sputnik was also put into orbit by an ICBM. Except that time it triggered the space race. These days we like to cut NASA’s budget.

Ortzinator on March 16, 2012 at 1:51 PM

That is the major point. If you can put a satellite in orbit, you can put a warhead anywhere on earth. While they say they will stop building and testing ICBMs (which could reach the US), by calling this a satellite they are still essentially building ICBM capability, but the get international law on their side should we or Japan shoot it down.

dentarthurdent on March 16, 2012 at 3:23 PM

Kim, Jung Un is not running anything.

His uncle and the military chiefs are running things.

But one also has to consider whether this launch the result of lack of coordination between the uncle and the military.

Or it could be the result of power plays between the uncle and the military.

Maybe no one is really in charge and there are different factions in conflict. That would be a really dangerous situation.

The reality is that we do not know what is happening in North Korea and we do not really know who is in charge in North Korea.

slp on March 16, 2012 at 6:42 PM

America’s interests and Japan’s do not coincide with South Korea’s.

We need to do what is right for us.

goatweed on March 16, 2012 at 8:40 PM

NK is a chained dog for China. If the dog barks a lot in the neighbourhood then China is the one to be able to grant concessions and broker deals and generally have the most influence.

It suits China to let the dog bark, but they aren’t likely to let it bite, because that would interfere with trade and profit, and “Socialism with Chinese Characteristics” values profit rather highly.

It was only two or three years ago that the oil pipeline from China to NK suffered an unfortunate, abrupt, technical problem that just happened to coincide with an episode of NK belligerence and that took a couple of days to ‘fix’. The NK leadership got the message and piped-down.

YiZhangZhe on March 16, 2012 at 9:49 PM