Video: Is that a launch pad or is Pyongyang just happy to see us?

posted at 1:51 pm on November 30, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

No, it’s a launch pad, which North Korea will use to either (a) test its potential nuclear-weapon platform, (b) launch a satellite, or (c) deploy the millions of troops necessary to make the recent Red Dawn remake come to life.  I mentioned this development earlier in the week, but at that time the satellite images weren’t part of the story.  CNN’s report this morning makes it clear that Pyongyang wants to at least threaten to launch a missile, but oddly doesn’t do much analysis on why:

North Korea has moved another step closer to the unusual and provocative move of launching a long-range rocket in wintertime, according to an analysis of satellite images by a U.S. academic website.

Using commercial satellite imagery, the website 38 North says that trailers carrying the first two stages of one of the North’s Unha rockets can be seen near the main missile assembly building at the Sohae Satellite Launch Station on the country’s west coast.

The analysis published Thursday by 38 North, which is run by the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, follows the release of an image earlier this week by the satellite imagery company DigitalGlobe that showed increased activity at the launch station.

The developments shown in the images suggest North Korea could carry out a rocket launch as soon as “the latter half of the first week of December, weather permitting,” 38 North said.

There are two reasons why the Kim regime — if Kim Jong-un is really running things at all — might have chosen this odd timing for a provocation.  First, winter is fast approaching, and the missile launch last April blew up a deal on food aid.  The regime might be worried about a panic over food, and may see a missile-test threat as a good way to cut an aid deal from as much strength as North Korea can muster.

Second, South Korea will hold national elections on December 19th.  The timing of the missile launch window seems pretty coincidental if not related to sending a message to voters south of the 38th Parallel.  The regime may be attempting to flex its muscles as a way to get voters to elect a more pliable government, although if so, that effort may end up backfiring worse than … well, worse than North Korea missile tests in general, including the effort in April.

Either way, a threatened launch of missiles — especially long-range missiles — will put the peninsula back on the front burners of diplomats throughout the Pacific Rim.  And that might be the real reason why attention-starved Pyongyang is making the threat.

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Comment pages: 1 2

So what’s a crime against the law of nations if not a crime against a nation?!

Here, go find out what the founders meant by “law of nations” and get back to me when you grow up.

Akzed on November 30, 2012 at 4:32 PM

I’ll take that as a no as well.

Dante on November 30, 2012 at 4:09 PM

Take it as whatever you want. It’s pretty obvious that further discussion with you is a waste of time. You have demonstrated a complete lack of understanding of the real intent in the Constitution despite the obvious example provided to vis a vis the Barbary Pirates and any other actual historical facts. Our isolationism following WWI led to WWII, I’m not really keen on re-learning that lesson.

Like I said, any further discussion with you is a waste of time. You’d think I’d have figured that out from your previous postings.

AZfederalist on November 30, 2012 at 4:38 PM

Presenting a logical fallacy is not an answer. I do love the liberal tack you’re taking, though, as evidenced in your use of the word “need”. Again, they are a sovereign nation. If they desire launch pads, that’s their prerogative. The fact that they are building them is not provocative. The fact that they would build weapons and missiles is not provocative. Testing weapons and missiles is not provocative.

Why do you subscribe to and defend progressive policy?

Dante on November 30, 2012 at 4:31 PM

Do you actually read what you write or just get right to the part about calling me a liberal or a “progressive”?

A kook building/testing weapons and missiles is not provocative? What more can be said to that? That in itself is a clock stopper.

As for “need”, sorry the liberal dogwhistle caught your attention to distract, but really you have a starving population with no electricity and your choice of what to do with any money is to build launching pads?

When your children are hungry and “need” (whoops there is it again!) food do you go and buy a DVD? Same thing. It’s not a liberal dogwhistle to wonder why a nation with a hungry population in the dark is wasting precious resources on idiot things like launching pads.

You have no argument and just prop up your talking points with dogwhistles, strawmen and shiny objects.

kim roy on November 30, 2012 at 4:42 PM

Take it as whatever you want. It’s pretty obvious that further discussion with you is a waste of time. You have demonstrated a complete lack of understanding of the real intent in the Constitution despite the obvious example provided to vis a vis the Barbary Pirates and any other actual historical facts. Our isolationism following WWI led to WWII, I’m not really keen on re-learning that lesson.

Like I said, any further discussion with you is a waste of time. You’d think I’d have figured that out from your previous postings.

AZfederalist on November 30, 2012 at 4:38 PM

The Barbary Pirates and the Barbary Wars have absolutely nothing to do with this discussion other than steer it on an unrelated tangent. We were attacked, and the president lawfully followed his Constitutional authority in the wake of attacks.

Our isolationism following WWI did not lead to WWII; our interventionism in WWI led to WWII.

Dante on November 30, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Like I said, any further discussion with you is a waste of time. You’d think I’d have figured that out from your previous postings.

AZfederalist on November 30, 2012 at 4:38 PM

That’s why I called him Time Sink. He’s only as entertaining as how much time you have to waste.

It seems you’ve run out of “bored time” and so have I. ;)

kim roy on November 30, 2012 at 4:43 PM

I wonder if they can launch one without it blowing up. They will probably screw up the guidance and it will land in China or Russia creating amusement for all.

William Eaton on November 30, 2012 at 6:03 PM

Plus the Palestinians and Israelis are stealing all the media coverage. Got to get the propaganda machine going.

vcferlita on November 30, 2012 at 6:17 PM

Our isolationism following WWI did not lead to WWII; our interventionism in WWI led to WWII.

Who would have thunk it? So WWII was the USA’S fault too.

LeftCoastRight on November 30, 2012 at 6:34 PM

Our isolationism following WWI did not lead to WWII; our interventionism in WWI led to WWII.

Who would have thunk it? So WWII was the USA’S fault too.

LeftCoastRight on November 30, 2012 at 6:34 PM

Don’t say it too loud or they’ll find a way to blame Palin or Bush for that as well.

kim roy on November 30, 2012 at 6:40 PM

Can you find for me in the Constitution where the common defense refers to defending other sovereign nations?

Dante on November 30, 2012 at 3:53 PM

There wouldn’t even be a United States if France had your attitude. Put your big boy pants on puddin’ head if you want to have a legitimate discussion instead of parroting back the anti-military isolationist talking points of a failed racist candidate for President.

Happy Nomad on November 30, 2012 at 6:56 PM

There wouldn’t even be a United States if France had your attitude. Put your big boy pants on puddin’ head if you want to have a legitimate discussion instead of parroting back the anti-military isolationist talking points of a failed racist candidate for President.

Happy Nomad on November 30, 2012 at 6:56 PM

Why are you guys wasting your time on these communists lite? We here in NV had to endure them and suffer due to their idiocy and low IQs, as well as as lying cheating ways in GOP primaries and beyind, not that they now are not asking themselves what else they can do in the future. I guess openly cheering for Azzhole in WH and then voting for him was not enough last go round…

Their faux GOP “allegiance” is nothing but a stain on GOP. Just like their dear racist, anti-semitic leader, Herr Doktor. Hopefully, we’re done listening to this poor excuse for a human being. Too bad his useful idiots won’t.

riddick on November 30, 2012 at 8:05 PM

Who would have thunk it? So WWII was the USA’S fault too.

LeftCoastRight on November 30, 2012 at 6:34 PM

I guess you’ve never heard of the Treaty of Versailles.

“The Treaty of Versailles caused Germany to go through a depression, a time when businesses and people lost a lot of money. Due to this depression, many people lost their jobs. People who could not find jobs joined the Communist and National Socialist parties. The National Socialist Party’s leader, Adolf Hitler, was gaining more and more power because the German people were upset that their government did little to help them and that the government agreed to the Treaty of Versailles. Many Germans were mad that Germany lost so much land because of the Treaty of Versailles, and it had to pay huge amounts of money to Allied countries. They were also mad because the treaty said that Germany alone caused WWI. Many Germans wanted revenge. This is when more Germans began to look up to Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist Party.”

While the Senate rejected the Treaty, Wilson had his hands in it and helped to create the economic conditions that allowed for the rise of the N.azi Party. I guess you think the United States can go to war and everything afterwards is hunky dory with no consequences at all.

Dante on November 30, 2012 at 8:26 PM

Our isolationism following WWI did not lead to WWII; our interventionism in WWI led to WWII.

Dante on November 30, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Most wars have multiple causes, including the punitive nature of the Treaty of Versailles and the destabilization of the German government; however, one could make a case for Dante’s assertion by noting that, had the US not intervened, Germany might have (probably would have) won WWI, or at least fought to a stalemate; therefore, Wilhelm II would not have been forced to abdicate and terminate the rule of the Kaisers; therefore, Hitler would have gained no traction against the monarchy (had he even tried such a thing); therefore WWII as we know it would not have happened.
However, there would almost certainly have been another European war either to rebut the German victory, or to continue to a conclusion (as in the 30-year and hundred-year wars, the Europeans never quite know when to quit).

AesopFan on November 30, 2012 at 8:59 PM

The Barbary Pirates and the Barbary Wars have absolutely nothing to do with this discussion other than steer it on an unrelated tangent. We were attacked, and the president lawfully followed his Constitutional authority in the wake of attacks.
Dante on November 30, 2012 at 4:43 PM

North Korea started a war in 1950, and no peace treaty has been executed.

Iran started a war and has attacked us many times.

So in both cases, whenever either nation does anything we don’t like, it is a provocation.
Akzed on November 30, 2012 at 4:17 PM

If an enemy tests a weapons systems and knows we will find out about it, they are trying to provoke a reaction of some kind. Note that Ed didn’t specify what the NorKs wanted to provoke us to do.
Not all provocations are followed by bombing the provokers, but that seems to be an underlying text of the discussion.
Their action is a provocation because it generated a reaction.
That’s what provocations do.

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

Yeah, nothing in there about defending other nations.

Dante on November 30, 2012 at 4:27 PM

When the defense of America depends on effectively defending an ally, then I think the Constitution has it covered.
However, had the Founders only had access to the proper technological prognostications, they might have considered “munitions launched from extremely long distances that will blow up on our soil after we extend all the way to the Pacific Coast” as an “invasion”, which could lawfully be repelled.

The question is whether any kind of invasion can be pre-emptively “repelled”, that is, prevented from occurring.

In a state of hostilities, whether a declared war or not, weapons tests by the enemy serve as sufficient indication of hostile “intent to invade” that they are liable to provoke a “response of prevention”, and this would be lawful, if not necessarily politically or militarily expedient, depending on the situation.

AesopFan on November 30, 2012 at 9:21 PM

Dante on November 30, 2012

…I don’t think this guy ^ has taken a sh!t in his whole life!

KOOLAID2 on November 30, 2012 at 10:23 PM

This ones for Dante:

A-10 Warthog

Shoot to thrill…….

MichaelGabriel on November 30, 2012 at 10:49 PM

If that one doesn’t give you a thrill Dante, maybe try a little….
Thunderstruck

MichaelGabriel on November 30, 2012 at 11:09 PM

He!! Yeah Dante

Sorry, everyone, I’m in a rowdy mood tonight :)

MichaelGabriel on November 30, 2012 at 11:17 PM

If all else fails, bring in the big boys:
Nuke Em

Trivia Question:
Since 1945, how many nuclear bombs have been detonated?

Answer: 2053, with the the US detonating 1034 (more than half).

This is a fascinating video of all of them
(Starts out slow, but by 1957, things really start “cooking”.)

MichaelGabriel on December 1, 2012 at 12:12 AM

Is it 12/21/12 yet?

KABOOM!!!

MichaelGabriel on December 1, 2012 at 12:37 AM

Not all that worried. It can probably only reach California. A nuke couldn’t do any more damage than the Dems.

trigon on December 1, 2012 at 12:56 AM

Don’t say it too loud or they’ll find a way to blame Palin or Bush for that as well.

kim roy on November 30, 2012 at 6:40 PM

Blame former President Bush and former Governor Palin for WWI or WWII?

How did you know? Oliver Stone has hawked a series on history to one of the cable channels. I caught parts of one installment last night. He did manage to mention W and artfully pasted the whole revisionist history mantra into the script.

I was so sorry to see that Henry Wallace could have avoided nuking Japan, the Cold War, racism after WWII, but that Roosevelt somehow made the mistake of picking Truman as VP. Roosevelt is closer to the divine than anyone, after all. But he was tired and dying…

And you know that the Japanese would have surrendered much sooner if we only promised that they could keep their Emperor! Because of the evil designs of the USA, the war was kept on life support until we could demonstrate our nukes to scare the Russians and bend them to our will in Eastern Europe!

I wonder how many newbies, who got little quality education in our public schools, are going to take this nonsense seriously? It was written on the same comprehension and education level as the Comedy Channel, and, as I said, it is on cable.

If they love our nation, this administration needs to polish up the reputation of the US and attack junk like this.

We can’t expect The Factor to do everything.

IlikedAUH2O on December 1, 2012 at 9:10 AM

Our isolationism following WWI did not lead to WWII; our interventionism in WWI led to WWII.

Dante on November 30, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Not true either. Had Britain and France followed the philosophy of forgiveness the United States proposed for the Treaty at Versailles, Germany would not have undergone the economic dislocations — dislocations analogous to what Obama proposes for the United States — and would not have blamed said economic dislocations on the Jews.

Our isolationism — our non-intervention in other affairs — allowed things like the Rape of Nanking — allowed the Japanese to arm themselves to the teeth — and left us totally unprepared for WWII.

There’s a gem of wisdom here — you are both the victim of your environment and the architect of your future. With that thought in mind, here’s Condoleezza Rice:

Indeed — indeed, that is the question of the hour. Where does America stand? You see when the friends or foes alike don’t know the answer to that question, unambiguously and clearly, the world is likely to be a more dangerous and chaotic place.

….

And I know too — I know too there is a wariness. I know that it feels as if we have carried these burdens long enough. But we can only know that there is no choice, because one of two things will happen if we don’t lead. Either no one will lead and there will be chaos, or someone will fill the vacuum who does not share our values.

My fellow Americans, we do not have a choice. We cannot be reluctant to lead and you cannot lead from behind.

unclesmrgol on December 1, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Our isolationism — our non-intervention in other affairs — allowed things like the Rape of Nanking — allowed the Japanese to arm themselves to the teeth — and left us totally unprepared for WWII.

There’s a gem of wisdom here — you are both the victim of your environment and the architect of your future. With that thought in mind, here’s Condoleezza Rice:

unclesmrgol on December 1, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Thank you for providing the imperial, neoconservative, progressivist, interventionist point of view.

Your sentence I quoted is a false premise.

Dante on December 1, 2012 at 3:42 PM

This maybe a repeat but…

A NK EMP over the continental US could result in the death of millions of Americans.

Do we not have the right to prevent a NK object from going over the North American continent?

Do Korea and Japan have the right to protect against similar events.

goatweed on December 1, 2012 at 5:19 PM

Our isolationism following WWI did not lead to WWII; our interventionism in WWI led to WWII.

Dante on November 30, 2012 at 4:43 PM

So Japan’s attack on 12/7/1941 did not bring us into WW2? Indeed it did not make the European war at the time a World War? And Germany’s declaration of war against us on 12/10/41 did not put us at war with the Germany?
Read FDR’s speech to Congress after Pearl Harbor, no mention is made of Germany. Hitler was pushed by the Japs into declaring war on us and he was on a role at the time so he thought why not . . . . Worst mistake he ever made.

Study history Libtard.

Bubba Redneck on December 2, 2012 at 12:07 AM

So Japan’s attack on 12/7/1941 did not bring us into WW2? Indeed it did not make the European war at the time a World War? And Germany’s declaration of war against us on 12/10/41 did not put us at war with the Germany?
Read FDR’s speech to Congress after Pearl Harbor, no mention is made of Germany. Hitler was pushed by the Japs into declaring war on us and he was on a role at the time so he thought why not . . . . Worst mistake he ever made.

Study history Libtard.

Bubba Redneck on December 2, 2012 at 12:07 AM

Actually, no. Roosevelt was engaging in economicinterventionism months before PH with the point of provoking Japan. Roosevelt desired war.

And no, a declaration of war by a country does not mean we are at war with that country. A declaration is just words.

Regardless, none of your post addresses the fact that our interventionism in WWI contributed to the post-war conditions that led to the rise of Hitler and eventually WWII.

Dante on December 2, 2012 at 9:59 AM

Rats. Forgot this link

link

Dante on December 2, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Actually, no. Roosevelt was engaging in economic interventionism months before PH with the point of provoking Japan. Roosevelt desired war.

So not selling scrap metal to someone is now an act of war in bizarro-world, is it?

And no, a declaration of war by a country does not mean we are at war with that country. A declaration is just words.

Dante on December 2, 2012 at 9:59 AM

Actually, that’s exactly what it means.

And you people wonder why you’re called “paultards“?

Alberta_Patriot on December 2, 2012 at 10:08 PM

Alberta_Patriot on December 2, 2012 at 10:08 PM

Personal attacks and straw man arguments. You, sir, have demonstrated a command of the topic. Well done!

Dante on December 2, 2012 at 10:52 PM

Personal attacks and straw man arguments.

Dante on December 2, 2012 at 10:52 PM

STFU

You are the one who started insulting peoples intelligence.

You must think the rest of us are stupid if you are seriously claiming that a declaration of war by another country doesn’t mean you are at war. That is exactly what that means. Something you tellingly chose not to address with your feigned butthurt. Instead of conceding that you lost the argument like a grown up, you went full retard. Your fault, not mine.

Secondly, you are the one with a dearth of knowledge of WW2 history. Germany and Japan were both in a militarization spiral. Both nations had shifted to a wartime economy without actually being at war. Their militaries had grown to the point where domestic resources were no longer capable of supporting them necessitating conquest and expansion in order to sustain their bloated forces. War with either or both of them was inevitable.

Thirdly, America choosing to sell or not to sell its own resources to whom they wish isn’t “economic interventionism”.

It’s funny (and more than a little racist) that you consider stopping trade with the Empire of Japan meddling in their affairs but you don’t consider Chinese civilians being run over by Japanese tanks fueled by American oil meddling in Chinas affairs.

You’re just another blame-America-Firster willing to sacrifice your own beliefs in order to bash your own country.

You paultards hate your own country as much as Michelle Obama does and yet you hysterically call yourselves “patriots”.

Alberta_Patriot on December 3, 2012 at 1:38 AM

Alberta_Patriot on December 3, 2012 at 1:38 AM

More personal attacks and straw man arguments, now with a “STFU”.

A feeble mind struggling to express itself.

Dante on December 3, 2012 at 8:57 AM

Can’t answer tough questions? Is misdirection and obfuscation all you’ve got?

How was selling Japan oil and scrap metal to crush China with not considered “economic interventionism” in Chinas affairs?

Alberta_Patriot on December 3, 2012 at 2:00 PM

…I don’t think this guy ^ has taken a sh!t in his whole life!

KOOLAID2 on November 30, 2012 at 10:23 PM

think he has been one all his life though.

dmacleo on December 3, 2012 at 2:17 PM

And no, a declaration of war by a country does not mean we are at war with that country. A declaration is just words.

Dante on December 2, 2012 at 9:59 AM

and yet a threat to kill someone is a threat even though nobody had yet been killed by that threat.

you’re a coward who benefits of the blood of others.
somehow I bet you were the goto guy in the ows drum circles.
up twinkles b!tch

dmacleo on December 3, 2012 at 2:20 PM

I don’t think this guy ^ has taken a sh!t in his whole life!

KOOLAID2 on November 30, 2012 at 10:23 PM

He holds it in until it backs up and pours out his pie-hole.

Alberta_Patriot on December 3, 2012 at 3:04 PM

Comment pages: 1 2