North Korea about to launch another “look at us” missile?
posted at 12:21 pm on November 27, 2012 by Ed Morrissey
You know that when international attention gets diverted for too long that North Korea will soon throw a tantrum. Reuters reported on the inevitable earlier today:
A new satellite image shows a marked increase in activity at a North Korean missile launch site, pointing to a possible long-range ballistic missile test by Pyongyang in the next three weeks, according to satellite operator DigitalGlobe Inc.
The imagery was released days after a Japanese newspaper, the Asahi Shimbun, reported that U.S. intelligence analysts had detected moves that were seen as preparation by North Korea for a long-range missile launch as early as this month.
DigitalGlobe, which provides commercial satellite imagery to the U.S. government and foreign governments, on Monday released a new image that it said showed increased activity at North Korea’s Sohae (West Sea) Satellite Launch Station.
It said the imagery showed more people, trucks and other equipment at the site, a level of activity that was consistent with preparations seen before North Korea’s failed April 13 rocket launch.
“Given the observed level of activity noted of a new tent, trucks, people and numerous portable fuel/oxidizer tanks, should North Korea desire, it could possibly conduct its fifth satellite launch event during the next three weeks,” DigitalGlobe said in a statement accompanying the image.
Hooray! Just in time for Christmas. It’s exactly the kind of present we’d expect from the Sexiest Man in The Onion World. Actually, the timing is aimed more for elections south of the border, which take place on December 19th, almost exactly three weeks from now. I’m not sure what Kim Jong-un hopes to accomplish politically with these kinds of fireworks other than produce a more hardline result, but it’s not really clear that Kim Jong-un is in actual charge of anything, either.
That isn’t to dismiss the security concerns of the DPRK’s missile efforts. Japan and South Korea have to be very concerned that international pressure hasn’t deterred Pyongyang from its muscle-flexing efforts. It’s more likely that North Korea needs more food and fuel aid, especially with winter approaching, and wants to threaten everyone back to giving them concessions.