Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Kim Jong Il Wants Attention

Or money. Those are the only logical reasons for this:
North Korea looks set to launch missile
By Jim Miklaszewski
Chief Pentagon correspondent
NBC News
updated 7:41 a.m. MT, Wed., March. 25, 2009

North Korea has positioned a Taepodong-2 missile on the launchpad at its facility in Musudan in the east of the country, U.S. officials told NBC News on Wednesday.

Pyongyang has said it intends to use the missile to launch a satellite into space. The North Koreans issued an international notice that the launch may occur sometime between April 4 through the 8th.

According to the U.S. officials, while two stages of the missile can be seen, the top is covered with a shroud supported by a crane.

But now that the missile is on the pad, the launch itself could come within a matter of days, a likelihood that has sparked a flurry of diplomatic activity as the event would be in violation of a U.N. ban prohibiting the country from ballistic activity. Some fear the launch is a cover for the test-fire of long-range missile technology.
Learning of this from Closing Velocity, to me the more interesting aspect of this is what Japan is preparing to do in response:
Japan readies N.Korean rocket launch response

TOKYO (AFP) — The Japanese government's powerful security council will meet this week to prepare for the shooting down of a North Korean rocket if it threatens to hit the country, the premier said on Wednesday.

The isolated Pyongyang regime has said it will launch a communications satellite over Japanese territory in early April, but the United States and its Asian allies suspect the launch is a ballistic missile test.

Tokyo, which has developed a missile defence system with the United States in recent years, has warned it will attempt to shoot down any missile or debris that threatens to hit its territory.

North Korea, which has announced a launch window of April 4 to 8, says it would regard a rocket intercept as an act of war.

This is a story to watch. I recommend Closing Velocity, as he will be watching it closely.