Sunday, April 5, 2009
Defying international warnings, North Korea has launched a controversial rocket. State media reported a satellite had been put into orbit and was transmitting data and revolutionary songs including the “Song of General Kim Il-Sung,” the late founder of North Korea, and “Song of General Kim Jong-il,” a reference to the current leader, Mental Lee Ill Kim Jong il.
World reaction has been swift.
Japan called the launch “extremely regrettable and asked for an emergency session with the UN Security Council which was granted. South Korea said the launch constituted a clear breach of a United Nations resolution. The UN called the launch not conducive to regional stability, as did the European Union.
Meanwhile, President Brack Obama, traveling in Europe as part of the G20 Summit told a cheering crowd in the Czech capital, Prague:
“North Korea broke the rules once more by testing a rocket that could be used for a long-range missile. This provocation underscores the need for action – not just this afternoon at the UN Security Council, but in our determination to prevent the spread of these weapons.”
President Obama has correctly pledged to begin the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, while incorrectly pledging to increase the number of U.S. troop numbers inside Afghanistan, I believe Mr. Obama’s security focus must now be the rogue state of North Korea.
Military analysts believe the real aim of launch was to test long-range missile technology; specifically the Taepodong-2, is to put parts of the U.S. within the communist nation’s military reach.
North Korea first tested a Taepodong-2 in July 2006. It failed less than a minute after lift-off. Three months later, Pyongyang carried out a nuclear test.
International talks involving the U.S., South Korea, Japan, Russia and China on an aid-for-nuclear disarmament deal are currently stalled.