Thursday, April 02, 2009


Experts say there are several possible reasons why North Korea is launching a rocket. Jack Garrity, the executive director of the Asia Society, in Washington, says the government in Pyongyang wants to send a message overseas. "The prime objective is to show their independence to the outside world, and to make a point of undermining both the spirit and agreements of the six-party talks," he said.

Nicholas Eberstadt, a researcher at the American Enterprise Institute, believes there is also a domestic political reason for the launch. "[launching the rocket] stands to indicate the success of the regime's military-first politics program, and to strengthen the position of certain groups within the government," he said.
And there is likely a military incentive for the North to conduct this test, according to Gordon Flake, executive director of the Washington-based Mansfield Foundation. "It would introduce a lot more complexity into the security calculations for countries like the United States or China or others dealing with North Korea, because it extends the reach of their delivery capacity. That delivery capacity is far more important today than it was a couple of years ago, because of North Korea's successful nuclear test," he said. The rocket North Korea is expected to launch in the coming days is theoretically capable of reaching the western United States.

Two previous Taepodong missile launches were unsuccessful, and Eberstadt and Garrity agree that a failed attempt would be a large setback for Pyongyang's nuclear program. The United States has warned North Korea that it would face consequences if it launches a missile. But the Obama administration also says a path to return to international negotiations on an aid-for disarmament deal remains open.

Digital ChosunIlbo

My own two won's worth says North Korea aren't going to abandon their rocket/missile program given that they've already refused aid from the US.

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