Hats Off to Pinkston and Crail

Like “everyone else”:http://www.armscontrolwonk.com/2354/pinkston-on-nork-goodies, I’ve been reading (or at least skimming) Daniel Pinkston’s trio of new reports on North Korea.

Only now do I notice this “March 31, 2009 report”:http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?id=6030&l=1 in anticipation of the long-range rocket launch of early April. (You have to register to read the whole thing.) Of special interest: he picked up on the legal maneuvering in real time:

bq. On 12 March, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, North Korea) declared that it had acceded to the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies (Outer Space Treaty) and the Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space.9 The DPRK also notified the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) that it planned to launch the satellite sometime during the period 4-8 April 2009.10 The Outer Space Treaty stipulates that all nations have the right to the peaceful exploration of outer space “without discrimination of any kind”, and – as noted in the next section below – the DPRK does seem to have a genuine interest in establishing a space-launch capability.

And it goes on from there. Here I was, thinking myself so clever for “picking up on the same thing after the fact”:http://www.totalwonkerr.net/1975/those-wily-norks.

It turns out that you can learn an awful lot if you’re willing to slog through the daily drivel at KCNA. “Like this here”:http://www.kcna.co.jp/item/2009/200903/news12/20090312-11ee.html. It’s a dirty job, so we should at least pay attention to those willing to do it. Hats are off.

Yeah, yeah, nobody wears hats anymore, but the sentiment is the same.

Update: The title of this post has been updated. Here’s what Peter Crail “wrote about this subject”:http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2009_04/NKlaunch (shortly before the launch) in Arms Control Today:

bq. The state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) also declared March 12 that Pyongyang acceded to two international instruments on the civilian use of outer space: the Outer Space Treaty and the Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space. Diplomatic sources contacted by Arms Control Today in March indicated that North Korea only acceded to the latter and informed Russia, a depository for the Outer Space Treaty, that it was adhering to that accord.

*Paul Adds:*

Josh is known for his hat collection, but doesn’t want to brag.

One thought on “Hats Off to Pinkston and Crail

  1. PC

    I’m responding to this late—but, it actually gets a little weirder..though no surprise when it comes to NK. I checked on this with the Russians after seeing the notice in KCNA. They said that NK acceded to the Registration Convention, but only said it was adhering to the OST. Now, if you look at the UN Space Office database under NK, it still says their accession to the OST is “to be confirmed.” Huh?

    What seems to have happened is that the North Koreans tried to accede to the OST, but just couldn’t quite get there…


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