North Korea to try rocket launch again
North Korea announced Saturday that it will send a long-range rocket into space this month, trying to make up for a public-relations disaster in April when a much-hyped launch failed.
In the announcement attributed to a spokesman for the Korean Committee for Space Technology, North Korea said the rocket would carry a “polar-orbiting Earth observation satellite” for “peaceful scientific and technological” purposes.
Nonetheless, the launch is viewed as a defiant move for an impoverished country that is subject to a U.S. ban from developing nuclear and missile technology.
The timing — between Dec. 10 and 22, according to the announcement — coincides with several sensitive dates on the Korean calendar.
On Dec. 19, there is a closely contested presidential election in archrival South Korea that could be swayed by the rocket launch. Perhaps more important on the North Korean calendar, Dec. 17 marks the one-year anniversary of the death of longtime leader Kim Jong Il, who is believed to have ordered the launch.
A successful launch would be key to establishing the legitimacy of successor Kim Jong Un, the late dictator's son who is still in his 20s.
North Korea had been in the midst of a propaganda campaign, claiming that it would become a “strong and prosperous nation” by 2012, which happens to be the centennial of the birth of Kim Il Sung, the dynasty's founder.
“It seems like they are trying to keep up with their declaration that the year 2012 will be the first year of ‘strong and prosperous nation,'” said Koh Yoo-hwan, North Korean studies professor at South Korea's Dongguk University. “Because that had failed, they will try and finish the project within this year.”
The earlier launch was an embarrassment for the regime, which had invited foreign television crews into North Korea to publicize the feat.
But the rocket flew for less than two minutes before splashing into the Yellow Sea, close enough to South Korea that its intelligence services were able to recover pieces to analyze.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers clinch playoff berth with win over Chiefs
- Starkey: Chryst a miserable failure at Pitt
- Groom cited at Farmington wedding reception being filmed for reality TV show
- Ex-Penguins defenseman Niskanen still miffed by coaches’ firings
- Outdoor notices: Dec. 22, 2014
- NYPD: Cop ambush killer told passers-by to watch
- Police investigate alleged institutional sexual assault at Pine youth treatment center
- Climate changes, habitat loss cited as threats to 314 bird species
- Car wash explosion, fire injures 2 in McDonald
- Pitt football fights to overcome steppingstone status
- Pitt players support Rudolph for job