July 5, 2006


North Korea hit by W on missles (RICHARD SISK, 7/05/06, NY DAILY NEWS)

The Bush administration lashed out at North Korea last night after the kooky Communist regime test-fired at least six missiles, including a failed launch of a new rocket that could reach the West Coast. [...]

One missile that definitely got Washington's attention was the new Taepodong-2, which has a potential range of 9,000 miles or better, enough to reach Alaska or California.

The missile blew up about 35 seconds after liftoff, which U.S. officials called a dramatic failure.

Debris fell into the Sea of Japan between the Korean peninsula and Japan, according to military sources who said the launch was monitored by spy satellites.

The other five missiles were believed to be Nodong-B short-range or intermediate-range missiles, similar to the aging Soviet-era Scuds that were part of the arsenal of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

There wasn't much chancethat a missile they tried developing on their own would work, but that's no reason not to take out the entire program.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 5, 2006 7:41 AM

The case for taking them out is stronger than you give it credit for, OJ. According to Encyclopedia Astronautica, the first stage of the Taepodong is four Scud missile engines clustered together. The second stage is a Scud--more precisely, North Korea's back-engineered Scud copy. The Scud is a proven design--no great shakes, but it works more or less reliably. At some point, even a spectacularly incompetent society like North Korea (or Saddam's Iraq, or the old USSR) will be able to get something this simple to work well enough to hit a city-sized target. If it's carrying a nuke, that's all you need.

Posted by: Mike Morley at July 5, 2006 8:59 AM

Yes, but the city is in North Korea.

Posted by: oj at July 5, 2006 9:42 AM

They expected the Taepodong to fail. That's why they fired the Scuds, so the story wouldn't be just about the Taepodong. If they had expected success, they wouldn't have obscured that story.

Posted by: Bob Hawkins at July 5, 2006 11:00 AM

So why is the admin not seriously mocking the Norks? Something along the lines of "Yesterday the regime in North Korea attempted to launch a new intercontinental missile. The missile launch failed, much as attempts by the regime to provide a decent life for the citizens of North Korea have failed. The regime is a vile abomination, and is fundamentally, in all ways that matter, a failure." Then a bunch of filler paragraphs, concluding with "Bombing begins in 5 minutes"...

Posted by: b at July 5, 2006 1:58 PM

Clearly Dr. No is responsible for toppling the Nork missiles....

Posted by: BC Monkey at July 5, 2006 3:00 PM

Their ICBM has reportedly been developed with the active participation of both Pakistan and Iran. Shades of Khan.

Posted by: ghostcat at July 5, 2006 6:11 PM