Don’t place any big bets just yet, but it seems increasingly likely that “there never was”:http://www.totalwonkerr.net/1970/kwangmyongsong-epic-fail-or-epic-bs a Kwangmyongsong-2.
If you haven’t been paying attention, check out “Geoff”:http://www.armscontrolwonk.com/2245/dprk-ground-truth “Forden’s”:http://www.armscontrolwonk.com/2244/dprk-systemic-vs-technological-failures “analysis”:http://www.armscontrolwonk.com/2247/dprk-unha-2-trajectory-constrained. Looks kinda like an IRBM test, and a successful one, at that.
Update: It might be more accurate to say “a partly successful ICBM test.” It certainly “looks like”:http://tinyurl.com/unha2 a three-stage rocket, no?
At least “some people”:http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0407/p06s07-woap.html in South Korea think so. But just try to prove it…
So why might North Korea undertake such a ruse? Well, under UNSCR 1718, North Korea cannot legally test a ballistic missile. But under the “Outer Space Treaty”:http://www.fas.org/nuke/control/ost/text/space1.htm, they can launch a satellite:
bq. Outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, shall be free for exploration and use by all States without discrimination of any kind, on a basis of equality and in accordance with international law, and there shall be free access to all areas of celestial bodies.
Hey, did anyone notice that North Korea “acceded”:http://www.oosa.unvienna.org/oosatdb/showTreatySignatures.do to the Outer Space Treaty and the Registration Convention on March 10, 2009?
How about that?
Update: “More from Forden”:http://www.armscontrolwonk.com/2249/dprk-icbm-or-space-launch-vehicle.