Angst Over North Korean Launch Prep

So now the North Koreans are planning to get into space, and their preparations seem to be generating much higher levels of concern and much deeper analysis than the Iranian space launch the other day.

Here’s the Spaceflight Now story, which refers to the “105 ft. Taepo-Dong-2 Intercontinental Ballistic Missile disguised as a satellite launch vehicle.” Disguised? That’s an editorial comment, which is fine as far as it goes, but where was the same editorializing in reports of the Iranian launch? I don’t remember any. And why didn’t articles about the Iranian launch include quotes from Congresswoman Harmon about the dangers it represented?

(By the way, in case you’re wondering: yes, most of this rant is cross-posted in the Space Warfare Forum.)

The article discusses the link between ICBM technology and space launch technology in the first few paragraphs, whereas every article I saw about the Iranian launch buried that information at the end. It mentions that Iranian satellite technology may be involved, but not whether Iranian rocket technology may have been shared with the North Koreans. And the article goes into terrific detail about all the intelligence preparation for this launch — which may or may not be accurate, and I’m not telling — that again was absent in articles about the Iranian launch.

I hope — emphasis on hope — that these and other writers are waking up to the danger these launches in general present. I wonder, though.

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