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Thu Dec 13, 2012, 09:36 AM

Mass Media North Korean Style

Well, low and behold the North Koreans have apparently achieved the technological level that the Soviets did in 1957 in their Sputnik program. I wouldn't lose any sleep over this event although it gives pause to ponder what their real intent is and how it will tout their wares in the arms sales industry. The North Korean space cadets have not yet figured out how to "weaponize" any nuclear warheads on an intercontinental ballistic missile, they do not possess the technology to create a reentry heat shield for any payload sent into space, and their nuclear device design appears to be still at the level of the Manhattan Project in the 1940s.



On tonight's NBC Nightly News, it was reported that the satellite was wobbly. The CBS Evening News said that there was an intelligence failure to detect that the rocket was fully fueled and ready to launch. They also mentioned that the North Koreans are experiencing difficulty in controlling the vehicle. U.S. Secretary of Defense stated that we are still evaluating whether of not the vehicle has simply spun out of control into space or whether it remains in orbit.

"They haven't figured out how to weaponize a nuclear (bomb) that will fit in a missile, nor do they have accurate guidance at long ranges," said Stephen Ganyard, ABC News consultant and former deputy assistant secretary of state. Another crucial technology North Korea is yet to achieve is a proper heat shielding required to protect the warhead while re-entering the earth's atmosphere."


Two days ago U.S. naval assets had already been deployed: "The United States has mobilized four warships in the Asia-Pacific region to monitor and possibly shoot down the launch. The guided missile destroyer the USS John S. McCain and the guided missile cruiser the USS Shiloh join the USS Benfold and USS Fitzgerald, also guided missile destroyers, to 'reassure allies in the region' according to officials." (Rivera & Park, ABC World News Dec 10,2012)

The U.S. Navy already possesses an effective and tested ballistic missile system: "As of 2008, Aegis BMD {Ballistic Missile Defense} was to deliver the following:
Fifteen (15) Aegis Destroyers equipped with the Aegis BMD Weapon System to conduct the LRS&T and engagement missions
Three (3) Aegis Cruisers equipped with the Aegis BMD Weapon System to conduct the LRS&T and engagement missions SM-3"

Japan is among other Pacific Rim countries which employ ballistic missile defense (BMD)systems, but did not fire at the North Korean missile as it overflew Okinawa. Here is a guide to planned US missile shield (already deployed):

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/5106762.stm

The end of this link illustrates our basic land based BMD assets placed geographically in Appendix B:

http://www.plrc.org/docs/010823A.pdf

It made more sense to monitor the launch to read it's telemetry than to shoot it down at this time: "The missile capabilities of a country as opaque as North Korea are notoriously hard to assess. United States and South Korean officials have said that all of the North’s four multiple-stage rockets previously launched have exploded in midair or failed in their stated goal of thrusting a satellite into orbit."

"China said that it “regrets” the launching, the first time it has used that word in the context of the North’s rocket program. The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hong Lei, also said that North Korea’s right to a peaceful space program was “subject to limitations by relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions,” somewhat tougher language than China has used on that subject in the past. "

I would be much more concerned about the missiles and associated technology that North Korea has provided Syria including the highly weaponized chemical and biological warheads that appear to being made at the ready in that civil war. And also the cooperation with Iran over not only the Syrian WMD program but also on other projects.

"Well, we have known for a number of years that Iran and North Korea have worked together to some extent on this, beginning with North Korean sales of short-range missiles to Iran that Iran seemed to use to start to build up their own program. And the third stage of this launcher looks very similar to the upper stage of the Iranian launcher. And so that's pretty direct evidence that there has been some level of discussion, collaboration between them, but we really don't have a good sense of how deep that goes."

“Suddenly, the whole country is engulfed with happiness and the people endlessly inspired,” the state-run news agency K.C.N.A. reported{.}" But what in reality may be plodding progress towards implementation of internationally forbidden technology will only make their starving masses forget their hunger pains for 20 minutes until they return to gnaw at them endlessly. It also makes one wonder about the usefulness of US humanitarian aid while North Korea spends over a billion USD launching useless satellites. If their "patriotic leader" continues these follies perhaps it might contribute to making them realize that their lack of sustenance is only exacerbated by the vast waste of resources on fantastical projects such as this. Of course this hope unfortunately underestimates the power of mass political seduction while Mr. Kim develops his cult of personality.

More LInks:
http://www.nuclearfiles.org/menu/key-issues/missile-defense/basics/introduction-missile-defense.htm

These links show references to the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense historical program data.

http://www.pdfs.name/thaad

http://www.nuclearfiles.org/menu/key-issues/missile-defense/basics/bmd_historical_overview.pdf

Refs:

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/world/july-dec12/nkorea1_12-12.html

http://history.nasa.gov/sputnik/

http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/october/4/newsid_2685000/2685115.stm

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032619/#50181257

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563_162-57558861/u.s-failed-to-predict-north-korea-rocket-launch/

http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2012/12/12/north-korea-may-not-have-full-control-of-satellite-u-s-official-says/?hpt=hp_t2

http://abcnews.go.com/International/north-korean-missile-hits-target-alarming-world/story?id=17941463#.UMkI_ndlNcY

http://abcnews.go.com/International/north-korea-rocket-launch-deterred-technical-glitch/story?id=17924873#.UMkLe3dlNcY

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ship/systems/aegis-bmd.htm

http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/japan/2012/japan-121208-rianovosti01.htm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/5106762.stm

http://www.plrc.org/docs/010823A.pdf

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/13/world/asia/north-korea-rocket-launching.html?_r=0

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