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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Missile launches

North Korea has fired five missiles today.

TOKYO - A defiant North Korea test-fired a long-range missile Wednesday that may be capable of reaching America, but it failed seconds after launch, U.S. officials said. The North also tested four of shorter range in an exercise the White House termed "a provocation" but not an immediate threat.

The audacious military tests by isolated communist nation came despite stern warnings from the United States and Japan — and carried out as the U.S. celebrated the Fourth of July and launched the space shuttle.

None of the missiles made it as far as Japan. The Japanese government said all landed in the Sea of Japan between Japan and the Korean Peninsula.

"We do consider it provocative behavior," National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley said.

President Bush has been in consultation with Hadley, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. The State Department said Rice will start conferring tonight with her counterparts from China, Japan, South Korea and Russia.

Hadley said the long-range missile was the Taepodong-2, which failed 35 seconds after launch. Experts believe the Taepodong-2 — Korea's most advanced missile with a range of up to 9,320 miles — could reach the United States with a light payload.

The State Department said initial intelligence indicates that the four smaller missiles included a Scud and a Rodong. The Scuds are short-range and could target South Korea. The Rodong has a range of about 620 miles and could target Japan.
This happening on the 4th of July can be considered provactive or Kim Jong-il's idea of pulling the tiger's tail. I've said previously its a dangerous game to be playing.

The missiles short launch times seem to indicate this did not go according to North Korea's plans or hopes. Defiance is one thing, except when it turns into an embarassment instead.

What will be the US response? A targeted response against the launch site. This has to be carefully weighed against a DPRK launching a retalitory artillery barrage on Seoul. The South Korean capitol has a population of 11 million people living there, and even a linited barrage could be horrific.

All said, the Korean people North and South are the ones at greatest risk. I feel North Korea needs to be stopped but this is one very dangerous game for all sides.

Others blogging on this topic- Captain's Quarters, Assorted Babble, Stop the ACLU, Blogs of War, The Moderate Voice, Iowa Voice, Greg Tinti at OTB and GI in Korea who jokes that Italy advancing to the World Cup finals is a bigger threat to world peace.

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