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N Korea launches missile

April 13, 2012

North Korean soldier watches as the missile sits on the launch pad. AFP

News agencies around the world have reported that the North Korean regime launched a missile despite pressure from United States, Japan and other interested parties. Little information on the launch is available as of yet.

Earlier reports suggested that the missile was not going to be headed towards the mainland of Japan. The BBC, for instance, said the path would likely take it south towards the Philippines, where it would not likely interfere with the Sea of Japan.

The Japanese leaders, eager to discuss something other than the political gridlock in parliament or their failure to set up a nuclear regulatory agency to replace NISA (with scandals being revealed all the time), have seized upon this “threat” yet again. There was a big media focus on the necessity to have defence weapons in place should the missile head towards Japan’s mainland. The undue attention deflects from other important matters. That might have been totally unnecessary.

Speculation is that the missile may have failed, though these reports are not confirmed. In situations like this, the press must await answers from governments, and they are not always forthcoming with the answers the public want.

The planned route for the missile will not pass through the Sea of Japan or anywhere near mainland Japan. Source BBC

The North Korean government was supposed to receive food aid, but the United States cancelled it when it became clear the launch would go ahead. North Korea says it is not interested in testing missile technology, but is instead trying to launch a satellite, which other nations say is in violation of a UN resolution. There is also the 100th anniversary of Kim Il-Sung, which coincides with the appointment of the country’s new leader, Kim Jong-un.

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