North Korea to Obama: Rocket for 4th of July?

So we continue to believe in diplomacy for brutal nut-job dictators. I can only imagine what those poor US journalists, Ling & Lee, can expect to face in a NK prison! But best not meddle right?

Good thing! All that hard work has paid off? Kim Jong Il is only posturing… he wouldn’t dream of firing a long range missile at Hawaii? His friend Obama is now at the helm in the US – all will be well… right?

Let’s wait and see.
Daily Mail Article (I particularly like the comment from Sacramento CA that says we should just ignore NK because they are an angry child. Great foreign policy tactic.)

    North Korea may launch a long-range ballistic missile towards Hawaii on American Independence Day, according to Japanese intelligence officials.

    The missile, believed to be a Taepodong-2 with a range of up to 4,000 miles, would be launched in early July from the Dongchang-ni site on the north-western coast of the secretive country.

    Intelligence analysts do not believe the device would be capable of hitting Hawaii’s main islands, which are 4,500 miles from North Korea.

    It was announced today that the U.S. has deployed anti-missile defences around Hawaii in response to the threat….

    ‘Without telegraphing what we will do, I would just say… we are in a good position, should it become necessary, to protect Americans and American territory,’ Gates said today.

    A new missile launch – though not expected to reach U.S. territory – would be a brazen slap in the face of the international community, which punished North Korea with new U.N. sanctions for conducting a second nuclear test on May 25 in defiance of a U.N. ban.

    North Korea spurned the U.N. Security Council resolution with threats of war and pledges to expand its nuclear bomb-making program.

    The Security Council resolution calls on all 192 U.N. member states to inspect vessels on the high seas – with the owner country’s approval – if they believe the cargo contains banned weapons.

    In what would be the first test case for the sanctions, the U.S. military has begun tracking a North Korean-flagged ship, Kang Nam, which left a port in North Korea on Wednesday, two U.S. officials said.

    The ship, which may be carrying illicit weapons, was in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of China on today, the officials said on condition of anonymity because they were discussing intelligence…

    A launch on July 4 would coincide with Independence Day in the States.It would also be the 15th anniversary of North Korean president Kim Il-Sung’s death….

    News of the launch would put ‘enormous military pressure on the United States,’ the Yomiuri said, citing the ministry report…

    Tension on the divided Korean peninsula has risen markedly since the North, led by Kim Jong-il, conducted two nuclear tests this year in defiance of repeated international warnings

    The first rocket, fired in April, was widely seen as a disguised long-range missile test. A second launch came on May 25.

    U.S. satellite intelligence has shown that a missile launch pad had been erected at Dongchang-ri on North Korea’s north-west coast.

    General James Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said it would take at least three to five years for North Korea to pose a real threat to the U.S. west coast…

    The report from the non-government organisation said they believed the North’s army have about 2,500 to 5,000 tonnes of chemical weapons which include mustard gas, sarin and other deadly nerve agents.

    ICG also also warned South Korea may become a target.

    ‘If there is an escalation of conflict and if military hostilities break out, there is a risk that they could be used. In conventional terms, North Korea is weak and they feel they might have to resort to using those,’ said Daniel Pinkston, the ICG’s representative in Seoul.

    The North has been working on chemical weapons for decades and can deliver them through long-range artillery directed on Seoul which is home to about half of South Korea’s 49 million people and via missiles that could hit all of the country.

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