Will either the U.S. or Japan attempt to shoot down a North Korean satellite launch? It’s not impossible, but don’t bet on anybody doing anything quite that provocative.
The “last time such threats emanated from the U.S.”:http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/21/AR2006062101518.html, lo and behold, North Korea’s (failed) long-range missile launch was accompanied by a barrage of short-range and medium-range missiles, which performed just fine. Point made.
Plus, “we have enough space debris already”:http://www.totalwonkerr.net/1847/iridium-cosmos, don’t we?
Oddly, the following item sourced to the “KCNA website”:http://www.kcna.co.jp/ is not yet there, [Update: “here it is”:http://www.kcna.co.jp/item/2009/200903/news09/20090309-02ee.html] but it’s popped up “elsewhere online”:http://www.individual.com/story.php?story=97486636 and is worth careful study, as it does not read quite like the usual KCNA drivel:
In view of the prevailing grave situation the General Staff of the KPA solemnly declares as follows in order to protect the supreme interests of the country and the nation from the war maniacs’ reckless moves for aggression against the DPRK:
1. Our revolutionary armed forces will counter the enemies’ any slight hostile acts of violating the sovereignty of the country and intruding into its inviolable territory, territorial waters and territorial air with prompt merciless military actions.
It is the invariable stand of our revolutionary armed forces fully ready for all-out confrontation not to allow any enemies to intrude into our territory, territorial waters and territorial air even 0.001 mm.
2. We will retaliate any act of intercepting our satellite for peaceful purposes with prompt counter strikes by the most powerful military means.
If the enemies recklessly opt for intercepting our satellite, our revolutionary armed forces will launch without hesitation a just retaliatory strike operation not only against all the interceptor means involved but against the strongholds of the US and Japanese aggressors and the South Korean puppets who hatched plots to intercept it.
Shooting our satellite for peaceful purposes will precisely mean a war.
3. As an immediate measure we will enforce a more strict military control and cut off the North-South military communications in order to guarantee the security in the opened Eastern and Western coastal areas under the control of the North and the South while the DPRK-targeted war exercises are under way.
It is nonsensical to maintain normal communications channel at a time when the South Korean puppets are getting frantic with the above-said war exercises, levelling guns at fellow countrymen in league with foreign forces.
Accordingly, our army will cut off the military communications, the last channel which has existed between the North and the South, from March 9.
Even if you think there’s no more than a 10% chance of retaliation, would you risk it? it just doesn’t seem remotely worth making whatever point would be made by destroying a primitive satellite.
Instead of a musical bonus, here’s an apt (if dated) comment on the “infamous op-ed”:http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/21/AR2006062101518.html linked above.