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.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs