The DPRK, North Korea, or whatever, says it's planning to test-launch a very peaceful communications satellite launch vehicle. Some other countries, including Japan and America, are dubious about just what the DPRK is testing.
Peace Committee: Reduce Puppet Warmongers' Stronghold to DebrisThe DPRK's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea said about the upcoming launch, and the Republic of Korea's ideas about sanctions against the DPRK.
According to the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea, South Korea is "trumpeting about 'sanctions'", but foreigners will know "what will soar in the air in the days ahead." (AP)
That last, I believe.
The Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea wasn't finished: " 'If the puppet warmongers infringe upon our inviolable dignity even a bit ... we will not only punish the provokers but reduce their stronghold to debris,' which certainly shows how peaceful the Committee is. (AP)
What's different about North Korea's efforts is partly a matter of what we're calling "transparency" these days. A "transparent" administration allows outsiders to see what's going on inside. That can include:
- Allowing reporters to talk to officials
- Making documents available
- Letting inspectors inspect
Then, there's the matter of attitude.
If the Democratic People's Republic of Korea wants nothing but peace, love, and understanding: They hide it well. Wonderfully choreographed dance numbers, on a scale that directors in Hollywood's golden age might have envied, photograph well. And, make for colorful and entertaining celebrations of the DPRK's achievements.
Equally well-choreographed displays of People's Army soldiers - and their equipment - are what concern me.
I don't have anything against professional dancers, or soldiers: and I think that choreographers and generals both contribute to society as a whole. In different ways, of course.
In both cases, it's not what they do so much as why the do what they do.
Japan, America, and Threats: This Isn't 1942Japan's Defense Minister, Yasukazu Hamada, said that his country is considering whether or not to shoot down North Korea's "communications satellite," if it goes over Japanese territory. Considering the flight path of a North Korean launch in 1998, they may have an opportunity to act. (The Australian, Al Jazeera)
Meanwhile, over in America, the Navy's head of U.S. Pacific Commands, Admiral Timothy Keating, said that the American military is ready to deal with the launch.
"If a missile leaves the launch pad we'll be prepared to respond upon direction of the president," he said. And: "Should it look like it's not a satellite launch -- that it's something other than a satellite launch -- we'll be ready to respond." (ABC News)
Depending on your point of view, those statements show that Japan is a puppet warmonger, too - or that the Japanese and American military are, reasonably, ready to defend their countries from possible nuclear attack.
This isn't 1917, or 1941 - A DigressionI'm pretty sure that some, on American college campuses and elsewhere, will speak passionately in defense of one of the world's few remaining worker's paradises. I got over socialism in 1968, around the time Russia invaded and purged Czechoslovakia, but for some the fascination with 1917's revolution seems deathless.
Change is hard to accept.
In 1941, many of America's self-defined best and brightest still believed a Pulitzer Prize winner's glowing accounts of Stalin's efforts to industrialize Russia.
Five-Year Plans weren't quite so in vogue in 1975, when the Fall of Saigon was hailed as a triumph of the peace movement: by some of my fellow-students, anyway. At that time, some Americans still hadn't gotten over Pearl Harbor. Some haven't, to this day.
In Japan, some have tried to replace the less palatable aspects of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere with a nicer history. They haven't been entirely successful. Japan, along with America and some other countries, has embraced the Information Age, with its occasionally-embarrassing lack of respect for national boundaries.
Actually, in terms of consumer electronics, Japan has made quite a bit of the Information Age. But I'm digressing from this digression.
Today, I get the impression that a few people are still living in 1975, basking in the glories of righteous indignation over Watergate and My Lai, and looking back with nostalgia to a time when the worker's paradise was truly appreciated.
Living in the past isn't a good idea.
About two and a half millennia back, Heraclitus said: "Nothing endures but change." I'd say that he still has a point.
North Korean Leaders May Believe What They SayNorth Korea doesn't seem to have gotten over failing to conquer the rest of the Korean Peninsula, after WWII. And, there's a chance that some of the DPRK's leaders actually believe their propaganda about America.
The Committee for the Peaceful Reunification's statement on reducing the puppet warmongers' stronghold to debris shows, I think, just how peace-loving the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is.
I don't mind the thought of a country like India having nuclear weapons and advanced missile systems so much. That country has its problems, like everyone, but it's a relatively stable democracy, and seems to have realized that there's more to gain through trade, than conquest.
The DPKR, on the other hand, is an ideologically-driven, tightly controlled, self-isolated country with a very top-down leadership. The DPRK may be trying to get into the communications satellite business, but they could also be getting ready to spread peace to Japan, Hawaii, Alaska, and China. Minnesota is out of range of North Korea's missiles - for now - but that's not all that comforting a thought.
- "Iran Launched Satellite, Probably: and North Korea's Preparing for Launch"
(February 3, 2009)
- "Indian Spaceship Crashes Into Moon: Right on Schedule"
Apathetic Lemming of the North (November 15, 2008)
- "Syria Accuses America, North Korea Threatens South Korea: Nothing New Here"
(October 28, 2008)
- "Spaceship to the Moon: This One's from India"
Apathetic Lemming of the North (October 22, 2008)
- "Kim Jong Il Watches Football Game: And That's News"
(October 4, 2008)
- ""Axis of Oil" - Slippery Situation for Next President"
(October 3, 2008)
- AoO, and North Korea, are on President Obama's desk
- "North Korea Un-disables Reactor"
(September 27, 2008)
- "North Korea Disables Reactor: Progress, of a Sort"
(June 27, 2008)
- "Iranian Nukes, Israeli Attack, Diplomacy, and Common Sense"
(June 21, 2008)
- (Keeping diplomacy in the real world.)
- "Japan may aim to down North Korea missile"
The Australian (February 28, 2009)
- "DPRK shows tough stand on satellite launch"
Xinhua (February 27, 2009)
- "NKorea lashes out over missile-test warnings"
The Associated Press (February 26, 2009)
- "U.S. Ready to Respond to N.Korea Missile"
ABC News (US) (February 26, 2009)
- "N Korea defends 'space launch' "
Al Jazeera (February 27, 2009)
- "North Korean Space Launch a 'Wolf in Sheep's Clothing' "
Spaceflight Now (February 26, 2009)
- "Conference focuses on North Korea's infrastructure"
CNN (February 26, 2009)
- "TEXT-North Korea says preparing satellite launch"
Reuters (February 23, 2009)
- "North Korea: Launch prep not for missile but for space - Summary"
The Earth Times (February 16, 2009)
- "Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) / North Korea Missiles"
- "THEATER BALLISTIC MISSILE DEFENSE OPERATING FORWARD FROM THE SEA"
Paper presented to Air Command and Staff College, via GlobalSecurity.org (March, 1997) (pdf)
- "Chapter 19 / REST OF WORLD MISSILE SYSTEMS"
Air University Space Primer, via GlobalSecurity.org (July 23, 2003) (pdf)
- More at GlobalSecurity.org Space / 2003 reports