Monday, June 12, 2006

More attention gathering by the North Koreans?

Possible Taepodong-2 missile* test fretted about over here :
North Korea is preparing for a possible test of an intercontinental ballistic missile with the potential to hit the US, according to Washington officials.

A senior official said there were “enough indications” to suggest that Pyongyang was getting ready to fire a Taepodong-2 missile from a launch pad in eastern North Korea. It would be the Stalinist state’s first test of a longer-range missile since 1998 when Pyongyang generated an international crisis by unexpectedly firing an intermediate-range Taepodong-1 over Japan.

My favorite part of the article is -
Pyongyang – which is keenly aware that the US can monitor its preparations by satellite – could be bluffing. Kim Jong-Il, the North Korean leader, has a history of performing eye-catching stunts when he feels he is being ignored, which has happened recently as Washington focuses on resolving nuclear tensions with Iran. Another US official said he might be “playing games” to get attention.
He should get some attention like Zarqawi

Last warning of a TPD-2 was in June 2006. Stratfor article here. Map of potential ranges of TPD-2 from here. TPD-2 images from Global Security. org here. Kim image from Team America.

*Kim the Ill-Begotten reportedly said this about the TPD-2:
"According to Kim Kil Son, who prior to defection to south Korea in August 1997 worked in a publications department of north Korea's Number 2 Research Center, development of this missile started in 1987 after Kim Jong Il gave on the spot guidance to the Number 2 Research Center saying that "If we can develop this we have nothing to fear. Even the American Bastards won't be able to bother us. Whether we live or die, we must quickly develop the Hwasong 6."

UPDATE: (6/13/06) Spook86 has an intel post here with a link to an article about a DPRK intercept of an RC-135 that might give some context to my earlier post about a North Korean threat to attack US "spy planes."

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