Kim readies new Taepodong

Sometimes you have to question Kim’s sanity, he’s already solidified so much opposition with his earlier missle launches (7 all told, 1 Taepodong dud, 6 Scuds,) that he is certain to catch some reprecussions. Add to that his kidnapping, drug running, and counterfeiting operation and you soon realize this guy knows no bounds. He’s the best advertisement I know of for an accelerated ABM program, and re-opening of the Strategic Defense initiative.

Underneath it all you have to wonder if he isn’t feeling out our defensive capabilities, and tracking routines from this many launches.

Here’s the breaking story courtesy of Reuter’s and NBC:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – North Korea appears to be making preparations to launch another long-range Taepodong-2 missile but the missile is not yet on the launch pad, NBC News reported on Wednesday, citing unnamed U.S. officials.

NBC said the missile was nonetheless in its final assembly stage.

North Korea launched at least six missiles early on Wednesday and a seventh some 12 hours later, officials in Japan and South Korea said.

Meanwhile we don’t have any problems tracking, or destroying the missles if we wished:

NORTHCOM Detected Missile Launches; World Evaluates Next Step

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 5, 2006 – U.S. Northern Command detected “each and every” North Korean missile launch and had interceptors operational and ready to respond if needed, a senior defense official told Pentagon reporters today.

NORTHCOM and North American Aerospace Defense Command officials quickly recognized that the seven ballistic missiles fired yesterday and early today did not pose a threat to the United States or its territories, Bryan Whitman, deputy assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, said today.

North Korea fired a long-range Taepodong-2 missile and six short- and medium-range Scud and Nodong missiles. All landed in the Sea of Japan without incident, with the Taepondong-2 failing on its own shortly after launch, according to NORTHCOM statements released yesterday and today.

Ground-based Midcourse Defense System interceptors at Fort Greeley, Alaska, and Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., were operational during the launches, but were not deployed, the statements confirmed.

This is great news for Raytheon, for sales from Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea. See this article, excerpt below:

Japan wants to develop a joint missile defense system with the United States as quickly as possible following North Korea‘s missile tests, the Japanese defense chief said.

“Along with the establishment of a surveillance radar network, we want to work with the United States to build an interception mechanism as soon as possible,” Defense Agency chief Fukushiro Nukaga told parliament, as quoted by Kyodo News.

North Korea fired seven missiles on Wednesday, including a long-range Taepodong-2. All of them fell into the Sea of Japan (East Sea) off the coasts of Russia and North Korea.

Japan is particularly sensitive to missile tests by North Korea, which in 1998 fired a Taepodong-1 missile over Japan into the Pacific, prompting Tokyo and Washington to step up cooperation to build missile defenses.

Japan and the United States signed an agreement in late June to allow them to jointly develop an advanced capability missile interceptor for the ballistic missile defense system.



For more on our ABM defenses, see my earlier article here. 

For more on our ABM defenses, see my earlier article .