North Korean rocket fizzled after take-off
Ratchet up the sanctions
Fizzle or not, the attempt should result in punishment. Cut any assistance to North Korea.
That rocket was on course to fly over Japan. That is an act of war.
N. Korean rocket breaks up on launch
By Chico Harlan and and William Wan, Published: April 12
SEOUL — North Korea launched a long-range rocket Friday morning in defiance of repeated international protests, but it failed to reach orbit, breaking apart soon after the blastoff, U.S. and South Korean officials said.
The three-stage rocket — carrying a satellite that Pyongyang said was intended for weather observation — was fired from a launch pad in North Korea’s northwest at 7:39 a.m., but it quickly separated into several pieces and fell into the sea, South Korean officials said. A U.S. official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the rocket broke up about 11 / 2 minutes into the flight.
North Korea fired a long-range rocket Friday, South Korean and U.S. officials said, defying international warnings against moving forward with a launch widely seen as a provocation. However, the launch may have failed, U.S. officials said.
Many nations, including the United States, viewed the satellite launch as a cover for a long-range missile test, because it requires comparable technology.
A successful launch would have raised international concerns about North Korea’s weapons technology, marking a key step in its mission to build a weapon that can reach the United States, according to officials. But the failure of the Unha-3 rocket, coming after two previous unsuccessful satellites launches, suggests that the North still hasn’t perfected the delivery system for an intercontinental weapon.
“The fact that it failed suggests there’s a little more time before North Korea has the capability to strike the U.S. directly,” said Scott Snyder, a North Korea analyst at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Nonetheless, security experts point out that Pyongyang, with a proven stable of short-range missiles, can still cause chaos in the region, where the United States has numerous military bases.
By going ahead with the launch, North Korea sparked immediate international outrage, and it will probably face a U.N. Security Council statement censoring the launch, according to diplomats who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The council was scheduled to be briefed at 10 a.m. Friday.
North Korea is one of the most heavily sanctioned nations, and existing U.N. resolutions ban the North from conducting weapons tests using missile technology.
The U.S. government, which has tried a combination of engagement and sanctions in a fruitless effort to alter North Korea’s behavior, will not seek additional sanctions, U.S. officials said. Instead, Washington will push for stepped-up enforcement of existing U.N. resolutions, U.S. officials said.
“We have all the sanction authorities we need under existing U.N. resolutions and executive orders,” said an Obama administration official, who was not authorized to speak on the record.
North Korea had intended the launch as the centerpiece of a centennial celebration of the birth of founder Kim Il Sung.
After more than four hours of silence following the launch, North Korea’s state media admitted that the satellite did not reach orbit. That frankness contrasted with the North’s approach after two previous failed launches, which it portrayed domestically as being successful.
In a brief statement, the North’s news agency said that its “scientists, technicians and experts are now looking into the cause of the failure.”