News

    N. Korea Prepares 'Space Launch' Amid Reports of Plans for Nuclear Test

    A crowd of media gather around a North Korean official in front of North Korea's Unha-3 rocket, slated for liftoff between April 12-16, at Sohae Satellite Station in Tongchang-ri, North Korea, April 8, 2012.
    A crowd of media gather around a North Korean official in front of North Korea's Unha-3 rocket, slated for liftoff between April 12-16, at Sohae Satellite Station in Tongchang-ri, North Korea, April 8, 2012.

    North Korea has placed a three-stage rocket on the launch pad at a new, more sophisticated facility facing the Yellow Sea. It plans to launch what it calls an earth observation satellite as early as Thursday. There are also indications the reclusive and impoverished country is preparing for a third nuclear weapons test, as well.

    Satellite imagery, taken last week, shows piles of dirt near a newly excavated tunnel entrance at North Korea's nuclear test site. A summary of a South Korean intelligence report accompanying the photos, obtained by VOA says the excavation at the Punggye-ri test site is in its final stages.

    Analysts say Pyongyang wants to demonstrate to the world that it is capable of carrying out a nuclear test at any time.

    Meanwhile, North Korea, at a separate site, has placed on the launch pad what it is calling the Unha-3 rocket. It appears virtually identical to the three-stage liquid-fueled ballistic missile it fired over Japan three years ago.

    The United States, South Korea, the European Union and Japan are condemning the planned launch, saying it will clearly violate United Nations sanctions forbidding Pyongyang from utilizing ballistic missile technology.

    Jang Myong Jin, the general manager of the launch site, says North Korea has a sovereign right to carry out a space launch.

    Speaking to correspondents taken to the launch site, Jang says, in recent talks between his government and U.S. officials, North Korea made clear that its moratorium pledge applied to long range missiles, but not satellites.

    Senior research fellow Baek Seung-joo, at the Korea Institute for Defense Analysis in Seoul, says Pyongyang's scientists have had a lot of time since their last attempt to put a satellite into space to greatly improve their ballistic missile capabilities.

    Baek says North Korea, in the interim, has likely exchanged technology with Iran which has made three successful satellite launches. And, Baek says, the North Korean engineers seem to have a high level of confidence their third attempt will succeed.

    Additional international sanctions were imposed on North Korea following its second missile launch and nuclear test in 2009.


    Steve Herman

    A veteran journalist, Steve Herman is VOA's Southeast Asia Bureau Chief and Correspondent, based in Bangkok.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
        Next 
    by: Carl
    April 09, 2012 11:33 PM
    You always do this, why deny N.Korea
    Stop bullying

    by: hamad part 1 of 1
    April 09, 2012 6:38 PM
    It seems that the policy of starvation is not working to enslave North Korean.
    China knew this political game very well. Save your food aid for your poor people who have been extending . VOA has been puppet on the hands of AIPAC to promote for its agenda and well-paid candidates from the money of Christian Americans. Is that weird? Do Not worry about national security of Japan because Fukuhsima crisis has threatened the lives of Japanese children more than North Korea ballistic missile .

    by: NVO
    April 09, 2012 6:37 PM
    The FACT of the matter is: The NK tyranical regime is a SHAM! Plain and simple! Starve your own people, you are NOT allowed to leave the country, you are to cry for the SUPREME BUFFOON whom is now in Hades, then will be in Gehenna, and if you don't cry, you are put in Jail! That is preposterous!!!
    People of NK, stand up to the tyranical regime, and EXODUS THAT COUNTRY!

    by: Jonathan Huang
    April 09, 2012 2:55 PM
    to Gab, do you think Iraq and Afghanistan now are that kind of place their children want to grow up in? Don't you think N.K. is doing everything to prevent their country from being like Iraq and Afghanistan? They'd rather be starving than being treated like garbage by US soldiers.

    by: Jonathan Huang
    April 09, 2012 2:50 PM
    @T.S.Chandrashekar India, dont be a fool of west propaganda. What happened to Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya only adjusts N.K. decisions that only strong military power can stop U.S. greedy invasion and protect their country. And I am 100% sure majority north Koreans support developing nuclear weapons and long range rockets and they hate U.S.

    by: NVO
    April 09, 2012 2:18 PM
    North Korea, a SHAM of a country with re to the tyranical regime, a SHAM! Plain and simple. Starve your own people, but make sure you "cry" for the SUPREME BUFFOON, or you will be thrown into jail. Exodus that country and leave the regime to die for their SECULAR selves!

    by: CharlieSeattle
    April 09, 2012 1:54 PM
    Is North Korea not using the telemetry data and chips that Clinton gave to China?

    Is China not sharing or is North Korea just not smart enough to use it...yet?

    Clinton
    Gave China Chips for Nuclear War

    Charles R. SmithWednesday, Oct. 1, 2003

    Newly declassified documents show that President Bill Clinton
    personally approved the transfer to China of advanced space technology that can
    be used for nuclear combat.

    Google this thread to read the rest: clinton, loral, china

    by: Robert Borchert
    April 09, 2012 12:28 PM
    The United States is the one nation that has welcomed immigrants from around the world, with open arms. People emigrate from abroad in hope of joining as Americans. E Pluribus Unum. I fail to understand your "white" comments. Leave race out of the equation. I'm proud to be a son of immigrants, an American. My brothers and I have all served our country in return, proudly, on land, air, and sea.

    by: chris birrow
    April 09, 2012 11:34 AM
    America, England, USSR should stop developing necliar wapon as an example, before they can stop other countries.

    by: kafantaris
    April 09, 2012 10:03 AM
    Ignore these fools.
    If they can ignore their impoverished masses to conduct expensive missile tests -- when no one is even remotely threatening then -- they deserve no further consideration from any of us.
    They can conduct all the missile tests they want with their primitive rocket technology. We ain't scared.
    But they’ve better not cut too many corners in their rush to show off or they will blow themselves up.
    Comments page of 2
        Next 

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora