'N. Korea loading rocket on launch pad'

Aerial images show preparations at missile site; US fears satellite launch is actually a weapons test.

By
March 26, 2009 08:13
2 minute read.
'N. Korea loading rocket on launch pad'

n. korea parade 298.88. (photo credit: AP)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

North Korea is loading a Taepodong rocket on its east coast launch pad in anticipation of the launch of a communications satellite early next month, US officials say. US counterproliferation and intelligence officials have confirmed Japanese news reports of the expected launch between April 4 and 8. North Korea announced its intention to launch the satellite in February. Regional powers worry the claim is a cover for the launch of a long-range missile capable of reaching Alaska. National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair said earlier this month that all indications suggest North Korea will in fact launch a satellite. North Korea faked a satellite launch in 1998 to cloak a missile development test. In 2006, it launched a Taepodong-2 that blew up less than a minute into flight. Both the satellite launch rocket and long-range missile use similar technology, and arms control experts fear even a satellite launch would be a test toward eventually launching a long-range missile. South Korea, the US and Japan have urged North Korea to refrain from launching a satellite or missile, calling it a violation of a UN Security Council resolution barring the country from ballistic activity. North Korea insists it bears the right to develop its space program and on Tuesday warned the US, Japan and its allies not to interfere with the launch. Officials at the South Korea's National Intelligence Service and the Defense Ministry were not available for comment early Thursday in Seoul. South Korea's chief nuclear envoy, Wi Sung-lac, said Wednesday after returning from talks with his Beijing counterparts, that a launch would trigger a response. "If North Korea launches a rocket, certain countermeasures are unavoidable," he said. He refused to elaborate, saying the measures, including any sanctions, would be discussed among US Security Council member nations. It probably won't be clear if the latest launch is a satellite or a missile test until footage can be analyzed after the event; the trajectory of a missile is markedly different from that of a satellite. Analysts have been watching for signs of a satellite or missile on the launch pad in Musudan-ni, the northeast coastal launch site. Satellite imagery from March 16 showed progress toward mounting a rocket, with a crane hovering over the launch pad, said Christian LeMiere, an editor at Jane's Intelligence Review in London. He said that once mounted, scientists would need at least a week to fuel and carry out tests before any launch. Images from earlier this month did not indicate the rocket or missile had been mounted, he said Wednesday.

Related Content

August 14, 2018
BDS claims victory in Tunisia, forcing ‘Israel-linked ship’ from port

By SETH J. FRANTZMAN