News

    North Korean Launch Failure Helps US Intel

    Luis Ramirez

    The U.S. military is analyzing North Korea’s failed missile launch.  The Pentagon says it does not yet know why the missile broke apart in what U.S. officials say was the second phase of Friday's launch, spilling debris into the sea off the coast of the Korean Peninsula.  The failed launch attempt, however, has already provided a wealth of new information on Pyongyang’s missile program.

    For North Korea, this was supposed to be a show of pride.  Pyongyang had invited foreign journalists for a rare glimpse of its secretive program.

    Breaking up in just seconds, the failure was quick and obvious -- and so has been the payoff for analysts like Tim Brown of globalsecurity.org.  Compared to the satellite imagery he normally analyzes, journalists’ photos from up close are a bonanza for him.

    “For one thing, to be able to see this from a couple of hundred yards away is just breathtaking.  We’re able to see the launch tower and the rocket in excruciating detail that leaves nothing to the imagination,” Brown said.

    North Korea had hoped to showcase the missile as a major technological advance.  

    Brown says what the launch really showed was how primitive its program is.

    “For example the gantry on the tower, which is the crane that they use to move everything around, looked sort of military or missile related.  And to take a look at it now, up close, it’s just a regular construction crane that you can see anywhere in the world,” Brown said.   

    The U.S. military watched the missile lift off and break into pieces over the sea off the Korean Peninsula in the second phase of the launch, and is now analyzing what happened.

    The failure perhaps allays some worries for U.S. officials -- who were concerned that the missile might have a long enough range to reach key U.S. Pacific installations on Okinawa in Japan, or Guam.

    But the Pentagon still considers the failed launch a serious matter and is calling it a provocative act.

    Patrick Cronin, a defense analyst with the Center for a New American Security says the U.S. has reason to remain concerned.  

    “North Korea is repeating this cycle of missile tests, potentially nuclear tests and we say This is just the status quo, but it’s not the status quo because North Korea keeps improving its capabilities.  These are very serious capabilities that they’re improving.  By breaking the cycle it means we’ve got to be willing to do something more dramatic,” Cronin said.  

    With the missile launch behind, U.S. defense officials now have their eye on Pyongyang’s next move and what South Korean intelligence believes may be plans by the north to carry out a new underground nuclear test.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: mike
    April 15, 2012 3:28 PM
    Oh yes the U.S.A is waiting for there next move

    lets play this scenerio North korea stages another test and the rest of the world just shrugs there shoulders

    But this time it is successfull with a nuclear payload and with china behind them and Russia by there side they launch a collective strike against America

    but wait, what da hell do i know

    Just a dumb Canadian

    by: Anonymous
    April 15, 2012 1:13 AM
    If North Korea isn't launching anything which is supposed to be a threat, then why won't they explain everything? They don't even give the full specifications of the rocket. Why do they keep a low profile about these matters? By the way, if the rocket is just a satellite carrier sending a satellite to orbit in space then why does their rocket need to fly horizontally in earth? If they want to send it to space then they must fly it vertically. If this is necessary, please inform me. Thank you.

    by: Most people
    April 14, 2012 11:46 PM
    Hahahaha nice FAIL North Korea! You are a pathetic country!

    by: YourMom
    April 13, 2012 8:26 PM
    Earth IS Dying And Everyone Can See It....By War, Pollution, Disasters, ETC. We Are All Going To Die Soon If We Dont Work As One And Heal This Land So All Kids Can Enjoy Life...Cause Yes We Can Maybe Go To Different Planets, But Can We Afford It? I Know I Cant ... So Please Lets Get Along And Work Together As One

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limitedi
    X
    Katie Arnold
    May 04, 2016 12:31 PM
    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora