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Korea
Japan: N. Korea Might Have Tested Missile
2003-10-20
North Korea might have test-fired a short-range missile off its eastern coast on Monday, the Japanese government said, but the report was not confirmed. It was the first suspected missile launch by Pyongyang since a test in April.
If I were a fisherman on the Korean coast, I would take my boat and go elsewhere. It would be very inconvenient for an unannounced surface to surface missle to acquire my boat as a target.
Cabinet Office spokesman Yukinori Morita and the Defense Agency said the government had received an unconfirmed report about a land-to-ship missile being fired into the Japan Sea around noon. But they said the information has not been verified. The missile would not have posed any immediate security threat to neighboring countries, an agency official said. He said the report indicated the missile had a range of about 60 miles. It was believed the firing would have been part of "routine training," he said.
I buy that. As long as they consider it routine to fire an unannounced missile into international waters.
The apparent test-launch comes as President Bush met with leaders from 21 nations at the annual Asia-Pacific Cooperation forum in Bangkok, Thailand, where the threat of a nuclear-armed North Korea and terror attacks has dominated the agenda. In April, U.S. officials said North Korea test-fired an anti-ship missile off its west coast, in an apparent response to the launch by Tokyo of spy satellites to monitor the isolated communist nation days earlier. Japanese officials initially confirmed the firing, only to deny it hours later.
Message for Mr. Kim. Take a lesson from Babe Ruth and call your shot. A missile test is much more impressive if you announce it and shoot at a target. If everbody is watching and you hit the target, that’s impressive. Any idiot can hit the ocean with a rocket.

Civilized nations issue routine closure warnings when they plan for a live missile launch. Saves having to pay for somebody's shrimp boat accidentally getting blown out of the water.
Posted by:Super Hose

#1  Long story on Kimmie the Sunday NYT Magazine. Good for anyone who wants more background. Be advised that you have to register.

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/19/magazine/19KOREA.html

Posted by: tu3031   2003-10-20 1:47:03 PM  

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