North Korea admits rocket failed, may opt for nuclear test next

posted at 11:36 am on April 13, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

First, the good news: The Kim regime admitted on state-run television that their “satellite” launch failed.  The bad news: Newly-minted Dear Leader Kim Jong-un needs to save face, and what better way to that than to set off a nuke?

North Korea said its much hyped long-range rocket launch failed on Friday, in a very rare and embarrassing public admission of failure by the hermit state and a blow for its new young leader who faces international outrage over the attempt.

The isolated North, using the launch to celebrate the 100th birthday of the dead founding president Kim Il-sung and to mark the rise to power of his grandson Kim Jong-un, is now widely expected to press ahead with its third nuclear test to show its military strength.

“The possibility of an additional long-range rocket launch or a nuclear test, as well as a military provocation to strengthen internal solidarity is very high,” a senior South Korean defense ministry official told a parliamentary hearing.

This raises another question: why did Kim Jong-un launch the rocket at all?  North Korea’s military doesn’t exactly have a great track record of success in long-range missile tests.  The risk of failure was high, and the potential reward was … what, exactly?  A chance to look properly hardened for leadership?  It would have been smarter to use the threat to push for more aid and then to announce a deal in exchange for leaving what Jim Geraghty called the “three-stooge rocket” on the launching pad.

It seems like an odd time to roll the dice on something this risky.  Perhaps Kim has some opposition within the military and needed to flex his muscles, but all this did was expose their weaknesses.  Instead, the new Dear Leader has had to admit a humiliating failure to his people, and now won’t get the food aid that was coming before test:

The United States has canceled a proposed food aid deal with North Korea following over its attempt to launch a long-range rocket taking a satellite into orbit.

Senior administration officials told NBC News the deal with Pyongyang is off after the rocket was fired. It failed shortly after launch and landed in the sea off the South Korea coast.

A White House official, aboard Air Force One, told reporters: “We are not going forward with any agreement to provide them with assistance.”

The nuclear test might be a threat to force a better aid deal, but the young prince should take a lesson from this flop.  Their military has a mixed record on nuclear tests as well, although a nuke test won’t disintegrate in mid-air like the DPRK’s missile test did for all to see.


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I hope the test takes out their military generals.

upinak on April 13, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Great.

Why do we talk to those fools at all?

neoavatara on April 13, 2012 at 11:40 AM

I wonder how many fewer scientists & engineers they have now.

If you know what I mean…

Bat Chain Puller on April 13, 2012 at 11:40 AM

I hope he fails.

lorien1973 on April 13, 2012 at 11:43 AM

What could possibly go wrong?

Southernblogger on April 13, 2012 at 11:44 AM

I wonder what might happen if their nuke test fails as badly as the missile test….

dentarthurdent on April 13, 2012 at 11:44 AM

“three-stooge rocket”

HAHAHAHA!!!

Maybe Kim’s taking a page from Zero’s playbook; when you hit bottom, keep digging. A nuke makes a nice hole.

ghostwalker1 on April 13, 2012 at 11:45 AM

What a farce and a laughing stock this whole Nork thing is. The whole paradigm of Dear Leader, Communist Rule, demagoguery and isolationism is a house of cards. They are really committing suicide and their people suffer as a result of it. Lil’ Dear Leader is the only one there eating well, apparently.

ted c on April 13, 2012 at 11:45 AM

I wonder how many fewer scientists & engineers they have now.

If you know what I mean…

Bat Chain Puller on April 13, 2012 at 11:40 AM

Beat me to it. Gonna be some purges.

msupertas on April 13, 2012 at 11:46 AM

North Korea now exists in an area of this world that is for the most part very peaceful and prosperous. Yet, they can’t feed their own darn people. And, the have political prisons overflowing with prisoners. Why don’t the people revolt?

SC.Charlie on April 13, 2012 at 11:46 AM

No food or aid. Let China support their puppet. Will President Full O Bull lay the blame for his policy failure on Shrillary? This is her area of expertise afterall.

Kissmygrits on April 13, 2012 at 11:46 AM

dentarthurdent on April 13, 2012 at 11:44 AM

Zombies.

Logus on April 13, 2012 at 11:46 AM

I see another fizzle in their future, like the last few nuke tests.

They’ll get an explosion that is technically a nuclear one, but it will be such an inefficient one that they may as well used conventional explosives instead.

teke184 on April 13, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Can we nuke them from the orbit already?

Archivarix on April 13, 2012 at 11:47 AM

The Korean Cartman shakes his inferior junk at the world to impress the folks at home. Still, like the Islamysticists, appeasement is best from an Eloi strategy based Western society.

BL@KBIRD on April 13, 2012 at 11:47 AM

I wonder how many fewer scientists & engineers they have now.

If you know what I mean…

Bat Chain Puller on April 13, 2012 at 11:40 AM

Ya – I would not want to be a NorK “rocket scientist” right now.
According to reports I saw, the execution method for the general caught drunk on KJI’s funeral day was via mortar fire, supposedly ordered directly by KJU, who wanted “nothing left of the body”.

dentarthurdent on April 13, 2012 at 11:47 AM

SC.Charlie on April 13, 2012 at 11:46 AM

How? Those people have effectively been crushed/broken. I wonder that they’re not like an Elephant with a string attached to their leg.

Logus on April 13, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Zombies.

Logus on April 13, 2012 at 11:46 AM

The Walking Dead, brought to you by NoKo!

upinak on April 13, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Zombies.
Logus on April 13, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Good times ahead then! Me and my boys have been practicing zombie killing on xbox and at the shooting range.
I want a good supply of twinkies though….

dentarthurdent on April 13, 2012 at 11:50 AM

North response…”there will be catastrophic response of severe magnitude and..uh..uh unimaginable hostilities could break out at any moment and…uh…uh..

Wait toto, get back over here. Don’t pull that curtain back.

msupertas on April 13, 2012 at 11:51 AM

Hmmm, another North Korean failed nuclear test and the ayatollah in Iran might demand his money back…. Wouldn’t that be funny.

SWalker on April 13, 2012 at 11:52 AM

I wonder how many fewer scientists & engineers they have now.

If you know what I mean…

Bat Chain Puller on April 13, 2012 at 11:40 AM

The beatings will continue until morale increases… or something like that.

Would seem to me that such scientists and engineers don’t grow on trees and would be extremely stupid for jr. to kill or at least jail too many of them.

But this is North Korea and Communists we’re talking about.

I seem to recall the Soviet Union putting itself into famine and starvation because they were killing so many people, no one could properly farm the land.

Logus on April 13, 2012 at 11:52 AM

So Ronrey.

wildcat72 on April 13, 2012 at 11:54 AM

The Nork nuke test would be a great chance for Iran to test its design under every ones noses wouldn’t it? Who is up for a viable conspiracy theory? It would be a win/win for Kim Cartman, the Iranians would pay handsomely for the rental and the West would pay handsomely for him to not do it again.

BL@KBIRD on April 13, 2012 at 11:54 AM

This raises another question: why did Kim Jong-un launch the rocket at all?

He wanted to celebrate Grandpa’s 100 birthday with a bang.

UltimateBob on April 13, 2012 at 11:55 AM

I wonder how many fewer scientists & engineers they have now.

If you know what I mean…

Bat Chain Puller on April 13, 2012 at 11:40 AM

Didn’t NoKo ask for engineers from Iran to come “help” them. So if the Iran engineers have been deemed the reason it didn’t work, do they kill them?

upinak on April 13, 2012 at 11:56 AM

How? Those people have effectively been crushed/broken. I wonder that they’re not like an Elephant with a string attached to their leg. – Logus on April 13, 2012 at 11:49 AM

There has to to be enormous discontent even at high levels. Stalin even had to conduct purges from time to time to stay in power.

SC.Charlie on April 13, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Logus on April 13, 2012 at 11:52 AM

Yup – typical commie/socialist practice – like Obummer is trying to do – if you have a golden goose kill it and burn it so you get absolutely nothing useful – as an example to those who remain.

Failure will be punished severely, and success will not be tolerated.

dentarthurdent on April 13, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Because of it’s arrogance, North Korea will not be getting food relief from the U.S. http://news.yahoo.com/u-stops-food-aid-north-korea-missile-launch-150046168.html

timberline on April 13, 2012 at 11:56 AM

One of these years, we might have a POTUS with the backbone to literally starve that regíme.
Let the ChiComs worry about it – the NORKS are their “ally”.
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on April 13, 2012 at 11:57 AM

I hope you fail!

rubberneck on April 13, 2012 at 11:58 AM

I hope the test takes out their military generals.

upinak on April 13, 2012 at 11:39 AM

..with their track record, it’ll probably go off with all the force of an M-80 or light the sky on fire.

Is it just me or is it because all of these foreign dictators know they’re dealing with THE NUTLESS ONE in DC?

The War Planner on April 13, 2012 at 12:00 PM

One of these years, we might have a POTUS with the backbone to literally starve that regíme.
Let the ChiComs worry about it – the NORKS are their “ally”.
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on April 13, 2012 at 11:57 AM

Yep. Build a wall to keep them OUT of South Korea and starve the commies out. This will force China to have to deal with what is essentially THEIR problem. North Korea’s existence is their fault…

Well, and President Truman’s.

wildcat72 on April 13, 2012 at 12:01 PM

..with their track record, it’ll probably go off with all the force of an M-80 or light the sky on fire.

The War Planner on April 13, 2012 at 12:00 PM

LMFAO! Making their own EMP attack. Sorry, it struck me funny.

upinak on April 13, 2012 at 12:01 PM

Because of it’s arrogance, North Korea will not be getting food relief from the U.S.
timberline on April 13, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Oh but the children – boohooo…..///

dentarthurdent on April 13, 2012 at 12:02 PM

Is it just me or is it because all of these foreign dictators know they’re dealing with THE NUTLESS ONE in DC?

The War Planner on April 13, 2012 at 12:00 PM

..ummmm, of course I meant THE POTUS. But, then again, SOS would also fit that category as well, wouldn’t she?

The War Planner on April 13, 2012 at 12:02 PM

A reminder to both North Korea and our own State Department:

“Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it”

- George Santayana

landlines on April 13, 2012 at 12:02 PM

North Korea now exists in an area of this world that is for the most part very peaceful and prosperous. Yet, they can’t feed their own darn people. And, the have political prisons overflowing with prisoners. Why don’t the people revolt?

SC.Charlie on April 13, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Several reasons. First, the people don’t know any better. They are force-fed a constant diet of “North Korea is the greatest country in the world. Every other country is envious of us”. Every aspect of information given to the people is carefully crafted and structured, they believe what they’re told. The only television and radio is state controlled. There are no other sources of information.

Next, the people are terrified of the government. Every conversation can be monitored, people don’t trust their neighbors or even their own families for fear of being reported. If you’re even suspected of subversive idle chatter you and your family will disappear into re-education camps or worse. Generations of your extended family will pay for your whispered anti-government comments.

Next, your entire future in North Korea is based on absolute loyalty to the Kim family. You cannot go to school, get a job, live in Pyongyang unless your loyalty and your family’s loyalty is above reproach. If your grandfather was suspected of disloyalty decades ago, you have no hope and no future.

Next, the people have no means to rise up against the government. They have no money, organization is impossible, the have no weapons against the massive army, they are starving and staying alive is their main priority…overthrow of the government is the last thing on your mind when you can’t even feed yourself.

Sorry to go on about this. But people need to know that this is the reality of North Korea, it really is this bad.

Trafalgar on April 13, 2012 at 12:02 PM

upinak on April 13, 2012 at 12:01 PM

..by the way, good to see you again. You doin’ o.k.?

The War Planner on April 13, 2012 at 12:03 PM

The nuclear test might be a threat to force a better aid deal, but the young prince should take a lesson from this flop.

Which flop do you mean? The rocket fizzle or our negotiators forgetting to dot the “i”s and cross the “t”s regarding the launch itself?

a capella on April 13, 2012 at 12:05 PM

..by the way, good to see you again. You doin’ o.k.?

The War Planner on April 13, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Busy.. :) thanks for asking.

upinak on April 13, 2012 at 12:07 PM

I understand the North Koreans are developing this capability because they are actually afraid of our eskimos. Seems the NKs have been told that the eskimos have ICBMs.

Larr
USN-RET

Larr on April 13, 2012 at 12:08 PM

NORTH KOREA IS BEST KOREA!

Good Lt on April 13, 2012 at 12:11 PM

So their missile failed, why not try the nuclear test? So if they want to blow something up, they can. They just can’t launch it anywhere.

It is obvious they want attention. Let’s NOT negotiate with terrorists this time….

jeffn21 on April 13, 2012 at 12:14 PM

People are missing the whole point here. Negative behavior must always be met with negative consequences.

Whenever you offer to pay someone to STOP doing something you don’t like, it’s always in their best interest to do as much of it as possible. Because that’s the only way they can up the ante.

Terrorism works the same way. Whenever you try to “negotiate” blood money, you’re always encouraging more of the exact kind of behavior you don’t want.

logis on April 13, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Looks like Lil’ Kim didn’t learn all the tricks his Pop taught him.

Bitter Clinger on April 13, 2012 at 12:32 PM

No food or aid. Let China support their puppet. Will President Full O Bull lay the blame for his policy failure on Shrillary? This is her area of expertise afterall.

Kissmygrits on April 13, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Hillary has expertise?

jayhawkingeorgia on April 13, 2012 at 12:33 PM

Late founding President… and he is still the actual President, the son and grand-son are just acting in his name.

President for Life and for Afterlife!

ajacksonian on April 13, 2012 at 12:37 PM

is now widely expected to press ahead with its third Iran’s nuclear test

fixed

agmartin on April 13, 2012 at 12:40 PM

President for Life and for Afterlife!

ajacksonian on April 13, 2012 at 12:37 PM

You got that right!

“Under the leadership of the Workers’ Party of Korea, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Korean people will hold the great leader Comrade Kim Il-sung in high esteem as the eternal President of the Republic.” – North Korean Constitution

Trafalgar on April 13, 2012 at 12:43 PM

why did Kim Jong-un launch the rocket at all?

They’ve already announced that his uncle and a couple of others are “helping” him govern via a council. So I’m betting it was the uncle who ordered the launch, not Baby Kim. Now, will Baby Kim use the opportunity to purge some of uncle’s supporters?

rbj on April 13, 2012 at 12:47 PM

CAn some one post the “Team America:World Police” clip where Hans Blix is “busting Kim Jong Il’s balls” already :=) Dear Leader was entertaining in the movie at least- oh wait a minute, he has now been replaced by his amateur son… good grief !

The US should continue to offer its nuclear umbrella to Japan and the S.Korea and show a big middle finger to NoKo no matter how many tests these crazies conduct.

nagee76 on April 13, 2012 at 12:47 PM

CAn some one post the “Team America:World Police” clip where Hans Blix is “busting Kim Jong Il’s balls” already :=) Dear Leader was entertaining in the movie at least- oh wait a minute, he has now been replaced by his amateur son… good grief !

The US should continue to offer its nuclear umbrella to Japan and the S.Korea and show a big middle finger to NoKo no matter how many tests these crazies conduct.

nagee76 on April 13, 2012 at 12:47 PM

I think we should mount a CIA special ops mission and replace KJU with Bobby Lee (of MadTV) in the middle of the night – and let the fun begin.

dentarthurdent on April 13, 2012 at 12:59 PM

CAn some one post the “Team America:World Police” clip where Hans Blix is “busting Kim Jong Il’s balls” already :=) Dear Leader was entertaining in the movie at least- oh wait a minute, he has now been replaced by his amateur son… good grief !

The US should continue to offer its nuclear umbrella to Japan and the S.Korea and show a big middle finger to NoKo no matter how many tests these crazies conduct.

nagee76 on April 13, 2012 at 12:47 PM

Wish granted (warning: very offensive language):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSXNJMP8ir4

Bitter Clinger on April 13, 2012 at 1:14 PM

It seems like an odd time to roll the dice on something this risky.

Occam and his razor both say maybe Kim Jong Flop is an idiot.

Cicero43 on April 13, 2012 at 1:18 PM

Genius can not be created or commanded at the point of a gun. All advancement and success in this half country is political. Only the children of the politically favored get higher education and though they might be bright, they will not be great engineers and scientists. It is amazing that it got off the ground.

dunce on April 13, 2012 at 1:53 PM

As an internship project why don’t we just have some college senior computer programmer hack into one of these things before launch and direct it at the little Dictators house! Problem solved missile launched Dicktator gone!

ConcealedKerry on April 13, 2012 at 2:38 PM

I say stop food aid to North Korea permanently. It only goes to their military and politicians anyway, none of it reaches the common people who really need it. Let them get food aid from China, or Iran, or Pakistan, and see how long that lasts. The Kim dynasty wouldn’t even exist anymore if the West hadn’t been so damned accommodating all this time.

RebeccaH on April 13, 2012 at 2:53 PM

I say stop food aid to North Korea permanently. It only goes to their military and politicians anyway, none of it reaches the common people who really need it. Let them get food aid from China, or Iran, or Pakistan, and see how long that lasts. The Kim dynasty wouldn’t even exist anymore if the West hadn’t been so damned accommodating all this time.

RebeccaH on April 13, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Agreed. Tell China, “they’re your satellite state, you feed them.”

slickwillie2001 on April 13, 2012 at 4:23 PM

Agreed. Tell China, “they’re your satellite state, you feed them.”
slickwillie2001 on April 13, 2012 at 4:23 PM

What do you think they’re doing? North Korea couldn’t even have accomplished this much without China’s help. For a few thousand bucks worth of instruction and obsolete hardware, China gets billions in American foreign aid.

Aside from their contributions to Democrat politicians, this is the highest return of any investment China makes.

logis on April 13, 2012 at 9:23 PM

North Korea now exists in an area of this world that is for the most part very peaceful and prosperous. Yet, they can’t feed their own darn people. And, the have political prisons overflowing with prisoners. Why don’t the people revolt?

SC.Charlie on April 13, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Several reasons. First, the people don’t know any better. They are force-fed a constant diet of “North Korea is the greatest country in the world. Every other country is envious of us”. Every aspect of information given to the people is carefully crafted and structured, they believe what they’re told. The only television and radio is state controlled. There are no other sources of information.

Next, the people are terrified of the government. Every conversation can be monitored, people don’t trust their neighbors or even their own families for fear of being reported. If you’re even suspected of subversive idle chatter you and your family will disappear into re-education camps or worse. Generations of your extended family will pay for your whispered anti-government comments.

Next, your entire future in North Korea is based on absolute loyalty to the Kim family. You cannot go to school, get a job, live in Pyongyang unless your loyalty and your family’s loyalty is above reproach. If your grandfather was suspected of disloyalty decades ago, you have no hope and no future.

Next, the people have no means to rise up against the government. They have no money, organization is impossible, the have no weapons against the massive army, they are starving and staying alive is their main priority…overthrow of the government is the last thing on your mind when you can’t even feed yourself.

Sorry to go on about this. But people need to know that this is the reality of North Korea, it really is this bad.

Trafalgar on April 13, 2012 at 12:02 PM

I’m sorry but I respectfully disagree. The DPRK is by any definition a racial state as much as Imperial Japan. That is how the people see themselves and that is why there is no serious opposition to the regime. Iran, Iraq, those other members of the axis of evil had serious opposition. My understanding of what the DPRK is all about and what is inculcates in it’s population is not much different from Imperial Japan which should not surprise anyone familiar with methods and results of that state.., or the fact that the Korean peninsula was deeply influenced by their colonial masters.

I firmly believe that we have to manage the downfall of North Korea more carefully than East Germany. The threat the DPRK poses to the rest of the world is very real. It is not just the government that is nuts… I hate to say.

lexhamfox on April 14, 2012 at 2:48 AM