- Albania bank loses $7M in theft; police arrest 2
- Gov. Mike Pence irked as Obama sends illegals to Indiana on sly
- Israel, White House say Obama phone call to demand cease-fire was fake
- Nancy Pelosi: Deporting kids un-Christian, sends them ‘into a burning building’
- Islamist militants seize special forces base in Benghazi, Libya
- Feds sue Pennsylvania State Police over women’s fitness tests
- Israel accused of striking U.N. school, killing at least 15
- Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule; scores killed
- Mississippi abortion law can’t be enforced
- Teacher who survived Sandy Hook has book deal
N. Korea rocket launch sets stage for missile that could hit Alaska, Hawaii
Question of the Day
North Korea’s successful launch of a weather satellite proves that the secretive communist nation could develop a multistage ballistic missile capable of reaching parts of the United States, potentially with a nuclear warhead, analysts said Wednesday.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, said North Korea launched a three-stage rocket, called Unha, that successfully “deployed an object that appeared to achieve orbit.”
The Unha rockeet is “a proof of concept for the Taepodong-2 ballistic missile,” independent space technology analyst Matthew Hoey said. The Taepodong-2 is also a three-stage rocket and has a potential range of more than 4,000 miles, putting Alaska and Hawaii within striking distance, according to South Korea’s Defense Ministry. North Korea tested the rocket in 2006, but the test was a failure, according to the ministry.
The successful satellite launch throws the nuclear and ballistic-missile ambitions of North Korea’s third-generation hereditary leadership into stark relief, analysts said.
“In technological terms, the launch moves North Korea a major step closer to developing an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM),” said James Hardy, Asia Pacific editor for IHS Jane’s Defense Weekly.
“While engineers still have elements such as guidance and re-entry vehicle testing to achieve, today’s launch remains a significant development in North Korea’s pursuit of a nuclear deterrent,” he added.
An earlier test launch of an Unha rocket in April failed when it broke up less than two minutes into the flight.
“With them getting the staging to work, they are much, much closer to achieving a launch of a multistage ballistic missile” capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, he said.
The final stage of the rocket “is the part everyone’s worried about, because it’s the part that comes back to earth with the bomb on it,” Mr. Hoey said.
The U.N. Security Council is slated to meet in emergency closed session Wednesday in New York to consider a response to North Korea’s defiance of the world body, which repeatedly has sanctioned the regime to little apparent effect.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Shaun Waterman is an award-winning reporter for The Washington Times, covering foreign affairs, defense and cybersecurity. He was a senior editor and correspondent for United Press International for nearly a decade, and has covered the Department of Homeland Security since 2003. His reporting on the Sept. 11 Commission and the tortuous process by which some of its recommendations finally became ...
- Senator's memo shows Iran links in Homeland Security's troubled immigration program
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- Dems back bill to fix problems in investor visa program
- Democrats proceed with Mayorkas vote despite pending investigation
- NSA monitored 'World of Warcraft' players
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
- Patent workers paid to exercise, shop, do chores: report
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- CARSON: Rudderless U.S. foreign policy
- Ticket me Elmo? NYC mulls law for impersonators
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- Obama mum on where illegal immigrant children are sheltered
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- Obama's brother wears Hamas scarf bearing anti-Israel slogans in photo
- Government OKs Arab-owned company Gulftainer to operate U.S. cargo port
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world