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08/02/2016 | North Korean missiles -Satellite of Kim

The Economist Staff

North Korea prepares another provocation

 

Update: At about 9.30am local time, North Korean media and the American military command announced separately that an object—satellite or missile—had been launched into space from North Korea. 

IN ITS quest for nuclear weapons, North Korea is a master of braggadocio. On January 6th the dictatorship of Kim Jong Un declared that it had detonated its first-ever hydrogen bomb, and had thus “guaranteed the eternal future of the nation”. But even its more low-key announcement this week that it now intends to launch an “earth observation satellite” some time between February 8th and 25th has caused global jitters.

It is the oldest trick in the nuclear book to pretend that the testing of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) is nothing but a satellite launch. A rocket that can place a large satellite into orbit can just as easily propel a nuclear warhead to the other side of the world.

Japan has placed its forces on high alert. Its defence minister, Gen Nakatani, said they had orders “to shoot down any ballistic missile threat”. South Korea has warned the North that it will “pay a harsh price” if it goes ahead with the launch. America is calling even more loudly for fresh UN sanctions against the North. Even China, North Korea’s ally, said it was “extremely concerned”.

Experts are unsure how much progress North Korea is making with its nuclear-weapons project. North Korea’s boasting is certainly no guide. For example, it is highly unlikely that the detonation in January involved a hydrogen bomb, which is more powerful than the atomic sort. The seismic signature of the test, in an underground complex near the border with China where earlier ones were conducted, suggested the device was similar in size to the one used in the previous test in 2013. At most, experts say, North Korea tested a “boosted-fission” device that uses an additive to achieve a bigger bang.

There are also big doubts about the missiles. North Korea’s tests of ICBM-type rockets have a patchy record—despite its claims to the contrary. In October North Korea paraded what looked like a scary ICBM: the KN-08. Some analysts believe this is designed to have a range of about 9,000km (5,600 miles), which means it could reach America’s western seaboard. Whether it works is another matter. North Korea probably does not yet have the ability to fire nuclear weapons reliably at America—though every test will bring it closer to that objective.

For all the chorus of international outrage, the only country that can realistically divert Mr Kim from his ruinous nuclear quest is China: it provides North Korea with fuel and food, and is the main conduit for its financial transactions. But it is reluctant to endorse America’s demands for tougher sanctions. However much China may be embarrassed by its wayward ally, it fears the collapse of the North Korean regime more than Mr Kim’s headlong quest for nukes.

The Economist (Reino Unido)

 



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15/09/2008|
06/09/2008|
06/09/2008|
05/09/2008|
05/09/2008|
05/09/2008|
05/09/2008|
01/09/2008|
01/09/2008|
01/09/2008|
01/09/2008|
22/08/2008|
22/08/2008|
17/08/2008|
17/08/2008|
16/08/2008|
16/08/2008|
28/07/2008|
28/07/2008|
28/07/2008|
28/07/2008|
28/07/2008|
28/07/2008|
19/07/2008|
19/07/2008|
24/05/2008|
24/05/2008|
03/05/2008|
03/05/2008|
29/04/2008|
11/02/2008|
05/01/2008|
09/12/2007|
18/11/2007|
10/11/2007|
10/11/2007|
06/11/2007|
06/11/2007|
06/09/2007|
26/08/2007|
25/08/2007|
11/07/2007|
16/06/2007|
16/06/2007|
10/06/2007|
10/06/2007|
19/05/2007|
19/05/2007|
19/05/2007|
19/05/2007|
24/04/2007|
24/04/2007|
14/04/2007|
14/04/2007|
05/04/2007|
05/04/2007|
05/04/2007|
28/02/2007|
28/02/2007|
05/02/2007|
05/02/2007|
04/02/2007|
04/02/2007|
04/02/2007|
04/02/2007|
04/02/2007|
04/02/2007|
29/01/2007|
29/01/2007|
29/01/2007|
29/01/2007|
11/01/2007|
11/01/2007|
11/01/2007|
11/01/2007|
27/12/2006|
27/12/2006|
27/12/2006|
27/12/2006|
27/12/2006|
27/12/2006|
20/12/2006|
20/12/2006|
17/11/2006|
30/09/2006|
28/07/2006|
12/04/2006|
12/04/2006|
12/04/2006|
06/03/2006|
21/02/2006|
17/02/2006|
31/01/2006|
10/01/2006|
28/12/2005|
31/10/2005|
26/09/2005|
29/08/2005|
11/08/2005|
08/08/2005|
24/06/2005|
24/06/2005|
24/06/2005|
03/04/2005|
03/04/2005|
03/04/2005|
03/04/2005|

ver + notas
 
Center for the Study of the Presidency
Freedom House