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Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:06 PM

North Korean satellite 'tumbling out of control,' US officials say

Source: NBC

The object that North Korea sent into space early Thursday appears to be “tumbling out of control” as it orbits the earth, U.S. officials told NBC News.

The officials said that it is indeed some kind of space vehicle but they still haven’t been able to determine exactly what the satellite is supposed to do.

In a statement, the White House said the rocket launch was a highly provocative act that threatens regional security and violates U.N. resolutions.

The United Nations Security Council on Thursday condemned the launch, calling it a "clear violation" of U.N. resolutions. A spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he "deplores" the launch.

Read more: http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/12/15866530-north-korean-satellite-tumbling-out-of-control-us-officials-say?lite

76 replies, 7612 views

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Reply North Korean satellite 'tumbling out of control,' US officials say (Original post)
davidn3600 Dec 2012 OP
doc03 Dec 2012 #1
Amonester Dec 2012 #72
Poll_Blind Dec 2012 #2
slackmaster Dec 2012 #3
Poll_Blind Dec 2012 #4
joshcryer Dec 2012 #11
slackmaster Dec 2012 #14
octothorpe Dec 2012 #19
slackmaster Dec 2012 #21
ChairmanAgnostic Dec 2012 #22
cntrfthrs Dec 2012 #28
Rain Mcloud Dec 2012 #30
JustABozoOnThisBus Dec 2012 #38
reACTIONary Dec 2012 #16
oldhippie Dec 2012 #52
jberryhill Dec 2012 #54
Scairp Dec 2012 #34
Angleae Dec 2012 #36
AlexSatan Dec 2012 #48
Ash_F Dec 2012 #39
jeff47 Dec 2012 #56
Ash_F Dec 2012 #66
hack89 Dec 2012 #68
Ash_F Dec 2012 #69
hack89 Dec 2012 #70
jeff47 Dec 2012 #74
Scairp Dec 2012 #71
Posteritatis Dec 2012 #40
jberryhill Dec 2012 #55
jsr Dec 2012 #5
DeSwiss Dec 2012 #35
sendero Dec 2012 #42
Throckmorton Dec 2012 #44
pampango Dec 2012 #6
joshcryer Dec 2012 #13
hunter Dec 2012 #25
joshcryer Dec 2012 #26
Scootaloo Dec 2012 #29
marshall Dec 2012 #47
Cobalt-60 Dec 2012 #15
heaven05 Dec 2012 #7
marble falls Dec 2012 #8
jerseyjack Dec 2012 #9
biohazard9550 Dec 2012 #10
joshcryer Dec 2012 #12
ForgoTheConsequence Dec 2012 #17
octothorpe Dec 2012 #20
ForgoTheConsequence Dec 2012 #24
Scootaloo Dec 2012 #31
LineReply .
Hassin Bin Sober Dec 2012 #18
longship Dec 2012 #33
daleo Dec 2012 #23
Warren Religion Dec 2012 #27
ArcticFox Dec 2012 #32
Franker65 Dec 2012 #37
kelliekat44 Dec 2012 #41
Selatius Dec 2012 #45
Politicub Dec 2012 #63
Posteritatis Dec 2012 #65
Mangoman Dec 2012 #43
Poll_Blind Dec 2012 #46
oldhippie Dec 2012 #49
Poll_Blind Dec 2012 #51
Posteritatis Dec 2012 #64
Mangoman Dec 2012 #50
biohazard9550 Dec 2012 #57
kelliekat44 Dec 2012 #58
biohazard9550 Dec 2012 #67
TimKeller Dec 2012 #53
Mangoman Dec 2012 #59
NickB79 Dec 2012 #61
octothorpe Dec 2012 #75
Amonester Dec 2012 #73
Lint Head Dec 2012 #60
Javaman Dec 2012 #62
d_r Dec 2012 #76

Response to davidn3600 (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:09 PM

1. Where is McCain on this? I haven't seen him on TV blaming Obama yet or wanting

to bomb North Korea.

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Response to doc03 (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 09:00 PM

72. I don't want to know where he is.

He makes me sick.

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Response to davidn3600 (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:21 PM

2. Niiiice! Hope it was nuclear powered!



Even the Chinese facepalmed over this. Howsabout launching some food into mouths, Kim?

PB

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Response to davidn3600 (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:22 PM

3. We should shoot it down to make sure it doesn't crash in a populated area

 

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #3)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:30 PM

4. Interesting question. I think the folks at NORAD are probably trying to get...

...an idea what's going to happen to the object as we speak. However, there was a situation in the last few years with a Russian satellite which was also in a degrading orbit and also out of control and even our best estimates were something like an 8-12+ hour window- which basically meant about the best we could do was guess which side of the planet it would likely come down on and that was it.

Also, you can't really "shoot something down" that's in orbit. Not like in the airplane sense.

Unless the North Koreans are willing to talk about what's in the satellite, breaking it up into smaller pieces through some sort of explosion could only cause more problems. I think we have things in space and on the ground which can blind satellites but I'm not even sure we'd try to take it out with a missile if it was coming down over our territory: It's probably safer to keep it in one big chunk than break it up into many chunks while that high up.

PB

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #3)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:56 PM

11. It doesn't work like that.

It's going 20k+ miles per hour. It needs to be slowed down to reenter the atmosphere. Shooting it will only put lots of debris in LEO. The best thing we can do is extend an offer to help them stabilize it or force a reentry over the Pacific. They will decline, but at least it's something. They might not be able to communicate with it but we probably could if they gave us the frequencies and the code, etc.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #11)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:10 PM

14. The windage is a challenge, but I'm going to break out my telescopee and 50 caliber target rifle...

 

...and take a crack at it.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #14)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:22 PM

19. I do not believe that will work as planned,

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Response to octothorpe (Reply #19)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:33 PM

21. I have a really nice Leupold scope, and the rifle is Lafette-mounted on a German machine gun tripod

 

What could possibly go wrong, other than a miss?

ETA the only major problem I have tonight is cloud cover. The high-altitude winds are kind of tricky too.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #21)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 12:10 AM

22. It's a really good tripod, tho

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #14)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 01:14 AM

28. ...

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #14)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 01:21 AM

30. Which would henceforth

 

beknown as the Dong shot heard 'round the World.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #14)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 05:28 AM

38. This is a great idea ... I'm willing to help ...

... I'll hold your beer while you take the shot, and yell "Boo-yah!" when you hit it.

If I was smart enough, I'd post the video on youtube.

Good hunting, slackmaster!

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #11)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 10:11 PM

16. +1 (NT)

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #11)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 10:55 AM

52. You're close. Earth orbital velocity is about 17.5K mph .........

 

..... and they are unlikely to have been able to launch anything massive enough to survive re-entry. Not really something to be concerned about.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #11)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 11:03 AM

54. I'd be willing to be it has no thrusters or much else


I'd be surprised if there was any "communicating with it" or "forcing a re-entry" relevant to this object.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 01:56 AM

34. I'm pretty sure that isn't possible

I'm no physicist but the thing is going about 15-20 thousand miles an hour AND out of control, not even a stable orbit, so I don't think there is any human technology in existence to even attempt something like that. All the rest of the world can do is track it and hope it lands in the ocean or in an unpopulated area like the middle of the Sahara. Who knows what it is anyway. It might not even be a working satellite in the sense that they put it up there for communication or some nefarious purpose, just a hunk of junk they shot into space for the hell of it. Hopefully it will mostly burn up in the atmosphere and there will only be small pieces to look out for.

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Response to Angleae (Reply #36)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 10:42 AM

48. And most of the the debris

 

is still floating around up there making it a big problem for intact satellites.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 06:04 AM

39. I don't think any country has that capability. /nt

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Response to Ash_F (Reply #39)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 11:18 AM

56. Both the US and China have done it.

The Chinese shot down a satellite in a stable orbit from a land base. Much of the debris is still in orbit, creating a bit of a pain for everything else up there.

The US shot down a satellite in a failing orbit from a ship shortly after that. Since that orbit was already decaying, the debris fell back to Earth.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #56)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 06:02 PM

66. Didn't those home in on a signal?

I imagine they did, as that was a primary criticism of the missile defense tests we had during the Bush era. The targets had transponders so successful hits were a sham. Thanks for pointing those out. I tried to look up how it was done, didn't find much.

Shooting down a non-friendly satellite would be a lot harder. How would they know exactly where it is? Radar isn't that accurate as far as I know, but I'm no rocket scientist.

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Response to Ash_F (Reply #66)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 08:15 PM

68. No - it did not

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Burnt_Frost

Aegis missile defense has a long track record of successful intercepts. Yes the initial tests did use transponders but that was 15 years and numerous successful tests ago.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #68)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 08:25 PM

69. No, I distinctly remember this during the Bush II years.

So it was much less than 15 years ago. Also, that was the article that I checked. It does not say how the satellite was targeted and zeroed in on.

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Response to Ash_F (Reply #69)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 08:30 PM

70. Here is the entire sequence

The ship's AN/SPY-1 radar finds the ballistic missile target and the Aegis weapon system calculates a solution on the target. When the missile is ordered to launch, the Aerojet MK 72 solid-fuel rocket booster launches the SM-3 out of the ship's Mark 41 vertical launching system (VLS). The missile then establishes communication with the launching ship. Once the booster burns out, it detaches, and the Aerojet MK 104 solid-fuel dual thrust rocket motor (DTRM) takes over propulsion through the atmosphere. The missile continues to receive mid-course guidance information from the launching ship and is aided by GPS data. The ATK MK 136 solid-fueled third stage rocket motor (TSRM) fires after the second stage burns out, and it takes the missile above the atmosphere (if needed). The TSRM is pulse fired and provides propulsion for the SM-3 until 30 seconds to intercept.

At that point the third stage separates, and the Lightweight Exo-Atmospheric Projectile (LEAP) kinetic warhead (KW) begins to search for the target using pointing data from the launching ship. The Aerojet throttleable divert and attitude control system (TDACS) allows the kinetic warhead to maneuver in the final phase of the engagement. The KW's sensors identify the target, attempt to identify the most lethal part of the target and steers the KW to that point. If the KW intercepts the target, it provides 130 megajoules (96,000,000 ft·lbf, 31 kg TNT equivalent) of kinetic energy at the point of impact.



And the system has progressed a lot in the past 10 years.

Since 2002, a total of 19 SM-3 missiles have been fired in 16 different test events resulting in 16 intercepts against threat-representative full-size and more challenging subscale unitary and full-size targets with separating warheads. In addition, a modified Aegis BMD/SM-3 system successfully destroyed a malfunctioning U.S. satellite by hitting the satellite in the right spot to negate the hazardous fuel tank at the highest closure rate of any ballistic missile defense technology ever attempted.

The authors of the SM-3 study cited only tests involving unitary targets, and chose not to cite the five successful intercepts in six attempts against separating targets, which, because of their increased speed and small size, pose a much more challenging target for the SM-3 than a much larger unitary target missile. They also did not mention the fact the system is successfully intercepting targets much smaller than probable threat missiles on a routine basis, and have attained test scores that many other Defense Department programs aspire to attain.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RIM-161_Standard_Missile_3

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Response to Ash_F (Reply #66)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 09:47 PM

74. Radar is that accurate

and has been that accurate for a long, long time. The US has had anti-balistic-missile missiles since the 1960s.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #56)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 08:53 PM

71. In a STABLE orbit

This thing, whatever it is, apparently isn't in anything like a stable orbit. I say leave it and it will mostly burn up in the atmosphere with small pieces landing, well, somewhere. That is what I suspect will happen anyway. And if the Chinese want to shoot at an unstable piece of space junk, which I also suspect it is, they can explain the consequences if any critical satellites from other countries are damaged or destroyed in the process.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 06:29 AM

40. I'd be stunned if it was big enough to reach the ground should it fall anyway. (nt)

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Response to Posteritatis (Reply #40)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 11:04 AM

55. +1

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Response to davidn3600 (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:56 PM

5. Their "satellite" is probably a box with portraits of Kim Il-Sung & Kim Jong-Il inside

They've been plastering the entire country with statues and portraits of those guys. Why not put one really high, above the highest mountain - in space?

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Response to jsr (Reply #5)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 03:19 AM

35. Not portraits. A picture. This picture:



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Response to DeSwiss (Reply #35)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 06:49 AM

42. Looks like Han....

... on 2 Broke girls

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Response to DeSwiss (Reply #35)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 07:22 AM

44. Mods, lock this, sex thread

I want to have his baby

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Response to davidn3600 (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:59 PM

6. Their purpose was not really to put a satellite into orbit anyway, but to show the long range

capability of their rocket systems. Even if the 'satellite' is tumbling out of control, the main purpose of the launch may well of been achieved.

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Response to pampango (Reply #6)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:58 PM

13. That would be a good assessment, imo.

They just want to show that they can now hit anywhere in the world, or at least, are close to doing so. They have achieved that they've wanted for so long. Now hopefully they can focus on the people and get over the war drum beating.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #13)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 12:57 AM

25. They surely can hit "anywhere."

And certainly will.

The next, and greater, challenge is hitting a target.

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Response to hunter (Reply #25)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 01:04 AM

26. This is certainly true, but laser guided systems are ancient.

Yes, it would require a "laser designator" but still, LGBs are accurate, and a really old technology. Almost 40 years old.

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Response to hunter (Reply #25)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 01:20 AM

29. Hey, they can hit their targets!

I'll have you know that the North Korean air force has the sharpest-eyed bullet-throwers you can strap to the underside of a biplane!

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Response to hunter (Reply #25)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 09:36 AM

47. With their skills, they may well hit themselves!

That would be the ultimate lampoon.

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Response to pampango (Reply #6)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 10:09 PM

15. Agreed: the 30,000 ft/sec or so of Delta Vee

needed for low earth orbit is the same 30,000 ft/sec needed for an ICBM.
A high school shop class could probably build a working replica of any of the first satellites that announced the space age with "beeps" from above.
This was a "throw weight" test.

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Response to davidn3600 (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:01 PM

7. that

'satellite' was probably a sham piece of machinery. All the n. koreans were doing is seeing if their INTERCONTINENTAL missile worked. maybe? I was writing when pampango was. great minds think alike.

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Response to davidn3600 (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:12 PM

8. Oops.

Last edited Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:40 PM - Edit history (1)

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Response to davidn3600 (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:19 PM

9. Fuck Iran and North Korea.

 

Only the United States should be allowed to have ICBM's and nooqueler weapons.

(For you lurkers, I'm too lazy to look for the sarcasm thing)

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Response to jerseyjack (Reply #9)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:49 PM

10. oh dear

 

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Response to jerseyjack (Reply #9)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:57 PM

12. Nuclear poliferation for everyone!

(For you lurkers, I'm too lazy to look for the sarcasm thing.)

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Response to davidn3600 (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 10:59 PM

17. NASA released this image today.





Pretty scary stuff!

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Response to ForgoTheConsequence (Reply #17)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:24 PM

20. i dont think thats real

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Response to octothorpe (Reply #20)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 12:31 AM

24. No it is.

I just went outside and saw it with my binoculars.


and im drunk.

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Response to octothorpe (Reply #20)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 01:21 AM

31. I can see the pixels

if a picture has pixels, you can tell it's fake.

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Response to davidn3600 (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:05 PM

18. .

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Response to Hassin Bin Sober (Reply #18)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 01:50 AM

33. Admiral Ackbar absolutely had to show up in this thread.


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Response to davidn3600 (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 12:23 AM

23. Lots of satellites have re-entered the atmosphere and crashed over the years

That includes a space shuttle. Nobody on the ground has ever been hurt. Launching satellites has been a proxy for ICBM technology since Sputnik.

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Response to davidn3600 (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 01:13 AM

27. The Country That Couldn't Shoot Straight

 

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Response to davidn3600 (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 01:47 AM

32. $5 says it's a wood carving

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Response to davidn3600 (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 05:19 AM

37. Good excuse to launch another rocket

If the satellite fell out of orbit, they'll have to replace it. Nice way to test your ballistic missile technology...

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Response to davidn3600 (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 06:37 AM

41. With all the world ssnctions and 'starving' people for any nation to accomplish this is

kinda remarkable to me. Would it not be better to have N.Korea sit at the table of nations and engage them as a sovereign nation trying to enter the 21st century instead of making them a perpetual enemy toy justify the need for more and more weapons of war? Maybe treating them as we would like them to be might actually help them become a sane nation. Obviously their people have something to offer just as all peoples around the world. We have during our history sat with some of the most brutal in-humane dictators as respected leaders of their nations...but they were the pariahs we liked. As long as Saddam was treated like a leader of his sovereign nation we were able to deal with him, supplying him with the very weapons we later said made him a bad person. Yet we were able to ally ourselves with the past Shah of Iran and Musharaff who overthrew and duly elected sovereign and set up a military dictatorship... but they were our pals. Look at the outcome. We refuse to deal with governments we don't like even when they are no real threat to us simply because their economic and social systems we view as a threat to capitalism. Cuba is another example. Think what these "outcast" nations and governments may have been able to contribute to the world had we not insisted on making them pariahs and labeled them "terrorists." Think who does the labeling and for what reasons. Our sons and daughters are sent off to die and we kill thousands for what purpose? Freedom and democracy? I think not. More for the power and wealth of the 2% of the world who are very good at making us believe black is white, evil is good, and lies are truth.

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Response to kelliekat44 (Reply #41)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 08:28 AM

45. The most realistic scenario is that North Korea opens up their economy like China did 30 yrs. ago.

The North will likely continue to be a one-party dictatorship like China.

However, instead of workers being paid an average of 60 cents an hour to manufacture things heading to the United States, it'll be 25 cents an hour.

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Response to kelliekat44 (Reply #41)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 05:21 PM

63. North Korea holds its own fate in its hands. If they were to open up their society, then

the US would trade with the country - not continue with sanctions.

The sad thing is the people of North Korea are taught from birth to hate the U.S. and all it stands for. I believe they will open up someday, but it's going to be a while.

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Response to kelliekat44 (Reply #41)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 05:40 PM

65. North Korea's accomplishing stuff like this *because* of those starving people

Juche is a pretty ugly ideology that way.

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Response to davidn3600 (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 07:05 AM

43. The US needs to shut the fuck up

 

North Korea has every right to launch rockets

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Response to Mangoman (Reply #43)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 08:56 AM

46. Of course DPRK has every right to launch rockets...until they leave DPRK airspace, of course.

And then we get to start offering our opinion, especially when those missiles fly over our territory or the territory of our allies.

It should tell you something that even the Chinese condemned the launch.

Do you...feel the North Korean government is unfairly persecuted?

Just wondering.

PB

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Response to Poll_Blind (Reply #46)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 10:50 AM

49. What about our satellites, that leave our airspace?

 

Does everyone get to object to them also?

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Response to oldhippie (Reply #49)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 10:54 AM

51. Oh, anyone can object to our satellites if they wish. Do they? nt

PB

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Response to Poll_Blind (Reply #51)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 05:37 PM

64. The major powers had that particular discussion a few decades back

"Airspace" ends around the Karman Line by most definitions; orbit is well beyond that.

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Response to Poll_Blind (Reply #46)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 10:53 AM

50. Yes I feel that way

 

The United States does the very same thing

I would be a hypocrite if I held your view

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Response to Mangoman (Reply #43)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 11:33 AM

57. apologizing for NK? nice..

 

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Response to biohazard9550 (Reply #57)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 12:13 PM

58. Why is it when someone considers the point of view of others they are "apologizing?" nt

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Response to kelliekat44 (Reply #58)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 07:40 PM

67. fair enough, i suppose

 

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Response to davidn3600 (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 10:58 AM

53. Just as dangerous to themselves than anyone else

Still, they've been the laughing stock of the international community with their rocket launches looking like an unstable and poorly constructed fireworks display. This "sort-of" successful launch solidifies Kim's rule and establishes North Korea as regional threat, more so than ever before. I focused on the implications of this in a recent article.

[link:http://unapologeticallyliberal.wordpress.com/2012/12/12/north-korea-crazy-with-a-side-of-rockets/|

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Response to TimKeller (Reply #53)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 12:28 PM

59. Then how do you view the United States of America

 

The US has had far more missile failures than North Korea

Are we a laughing stock ?

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Response to Mangoman (Reply #59)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 01:15 PM

61. When the Soviets were beating our asses in the 50's, yes

Some people did call the US a laughing-stock as we were getting beat in the Moon Race by the Russians, including a string of failures.

Then we got our shit together and had a string of very successful launches, put a man on the Moon, sent probes to other planets, etc.

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Response to NickB79 (Reply #61)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 10:10 PM

75. Politics aside, the only way North Korea can get their shit together is to continue test rockets and

risk such failures. Not saying it's the best route for them to go or anything. Although, I'm not sure I really understand why any country has any legit right to condemn them trying. I read something about the rocket going over Japanese airspace, which seems like the only act that could be rightfully condemned. At the same time, I fully understand why various countries do not want the crazy bastards in charge of that country to have ICBMs that work.

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Response to TimKeller (Reply #53)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 09:09 PM

73. They're as dangerous to themselves as the rest of us, destroying life on this planet everyday,

are dangerous to ourselves.

We're all screwn, actually.

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Response to davidn3600 (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 12:28 PM

60. Wonder if NASA can track it and we can see it on their website?

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Response to davidn3600 (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 04:02 PM

62. The officials said that it is indeed some kind of space vehicle but they still haven’t been able to

determine exactly what the satellite is supposed to do.

Geeezzzz, it's supposed to tumble.

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Response to davidn3600 (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 10:33 PM

76. I wonder if anyone will get this

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