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  • Reporting on Missile Test Fails

    The April 6, William Broad article “North Korean Missile Launch Was a Failure, Experts Say” in the New York Times diminishes the scope of the threat posed by the North Korean ballistic missile program by omitting some key facts.

    Analysis of the Taepodong-2 missile flight path does indicate that a payload was not delivered into earth orbit as the North Koreans claim. In this respect, the effort as a “space launch” did fail. Broad’s conclusion, however, that “[a]nalysts dismissed the idea that the rocket could represent a furtive, calling the failure consistent with past North Korean fumbles,” is both based on biased sourcing and incorrect.

    The missile test fired on April 5, 2009 flew for about 15 minutes and flew about 1,900 miles (3,100 kilometers). This means that unlike the 2006 test the first stage of the missile functioned well. In addition, the separation of the first and second stages functioned well (demonstrating the capacity to separate stages without destabilizing the flight of the missile represents a key technological advance). The missile appears to have failed between the second and third stages. This means the North Korean missile performed significantly better than the previous test.

    One source cited is astronomer Jonathan McDowell who identifies himself as a “political activist,” has been critical of US missile defense activities in the past including the February 2008 shoot down of crippled space satellite. Broad also relied on the expert advice of Jeffery G. Lewis Director, Nuclear Strategy and Nonproliferation Initiative at New America Foundation who, when the US demonstrated an advance in anti-ballistic missile technology lamented never having “the opportunity to constrain the technology[.]”

    The article completely fails to mention that it has been widely reported that North Korea and Iran share missile technology and Iranian experts may have been on scene at the test. In February 2009, Iran successfully launched a satellite. With the capacity to share lessons learned it is possible that both programs could advance in tandem studying the effects of the test.

    Cross-posted at Media Malpractice

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    3 Responses to Reporting on Missile Test Fails

    1. Denise, Florida says:

      I was wondering what the results of the test actually were since it didn't blow up when launched. I'm wondering how much of NK and Iran's technology and equipment come from Russia.

    2. MAS1916 - Denver, CO says:

      The danger here is that the Obama administration will view the launch results and declare it a failure rather than look at the North Korean intent. The intent is to develop a long range ballistic missile capable of striking the United States or any of her allies.

      After the first WTC attack when George Stephonopolis declared it a 'failed terrorist attack,' then President Clinton was able to justify administration inaction to combat Islamic militancy. Obama may use the poor results of the North's missile launch to justify its inaction.

      The implications of mis-applying the lessons of the DPRK's missile and nuclear development programs are serious. Like Stephonopolis' declaration that the first WTC attack was a failure, Obama's reading this missile test as a failure could have much more dire consequences.


    3. SParky, USA says:

      We wont do anything about it until North Koreas nuke tech reaches the hands of a terrorist in New York, Los Angeles or Hawaii. Or the NK leadership decideds to actually use a nuke against us. The fact of the matter is, we only attacked Iraq and Afghanistan, because our military knew we wouldnt have any resistance. NK will however be the exact opposite, they will kill lots of our soldiers and put up a actual fight, which is the exact reason NK has been allowed to get away with spreading nuke tech around the globe to the highest bidder. Wait till the bomb tech reaches a terrorist or individual with the motivation of demolishing a entire American city. We’l do something then, but to bad for the people who get vaporized due to our political leaderships lack of back bone in the face of an actual military threat. We scream about spreading democracy while funding the overthrow of a democratically elected leader in Pakistan! Believe me folks, America isnt the land of the free, we are owned by special interests from Israel to the military industrial complex!

      VOTE RON PAUL FOR PRES! Google Ron Paul!! learn about him! the corporate owned media doesnt want you to know about him! because he will stop the sickness spreading through our countries political leaders ship!

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