October 14, 2006

LAUGHING STOCK:

A deadly kind of fizzle (Todd Crowell, 10/14/06, Asia Times)

In July, North Korea tried to launch a multi-stage ballistic missile that fizzled out over the Sea of Japan (called the East Sea by Koreans) minutes after it was launched. This was the second test-firing in eight years and it was even less successful than the one in 1998, which at least flew over Japan, landing somewhere near the Aleutian Islands.

Two months after the July test, North Korea conducted a purported nuclear-weapon test, which may not have been an obvious fizzle, but its extremely low yield of less than a kiloton of conventional explosives (it was the equivalent of about 550 tons) strongly suggests it was a dud. [...]

Of course, Pyongyang may set off more nuclear tests (using up its limited stocks of plutonium). Someday it might build a multi-stage ballistic missile that really works; someday it may conduct a successful nuclear test; someday it may marry the two. Yes, and Kim Jong-il may live to be 100.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 14, 2006 8:15 AM
Comments

I'm less worried about one on a missile than one on a freighter.

Posted by: PapayaSF at October 14, 2006 12:23 PM
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