Friday, July 07, 2006

Duh

When it comes to North Korea may do next (in terms of additional missile launches), stick with the blogosphere for reliable, accurate information.. This AP story manages to contradict itself between the headline and its opening paragraph. The headline suggests Pyongyang may have another long-range missile at the Taepodong test site, indicating that a second launch in the offing. But, in the lead paragraph, the wire service notes (correctly), that the other TD-2 is hardly ready to be fired.

Here are some compelling reasons that North Korea won't launch a second TD-2 in the coming days. First, as we noted previously, Kim Jong-il can't afford another colossal embarassment, given his desire to sell the missile to other nations. Secondly, the processing of stacking (or assembling the missile), conducting pre-launch checkouts and fueling the TD-2 would likely take several weeks, although it could be accomplished in a matter of days (if the DPRK really wanted to). In light of this week's disaster, North Korea has reason to be cautious, when--and if--it tries again.

But here's the biggest reason you won't see a TD-2 launch over the next week. Apparently, the AP bureau in Seoul doesn't understand that typhoons generally prevent missile tests, due to the high-level winds they generate at the surface, and in the upper atmosphere. According to meterologists, a typhoon will pass across the Korean peninsula between 9-11 July, creating unfavorable conditions at the North Korean missile test range.

Duh.

4 comments:

John (Useful Fools) said...

The technical illiteracy of the press has bugged me for a long time - leading me to comment at Pressthink, a journalism blog run by the NYU J Dept. chair.

On July 4, I listened to news people confuse "ballistic" with long range, over and over again. There were short and medium range missiles, and there were "ballistic" missiles.

Duh! is an appropriate response to many news reports.

And yet, these people ask us to trust their judgement on whether to release government secrets - even in technical areas like NSA wire surveillance.

Muslihoon said...

I don't want to hijack the issue, but along with commenting on what's really going on, could you comment on reports that Washington may okay bilateral (rather than six-party) talks with DPRK? Is this true? What does it mean? Is it a good idea?

Captain Ned said...

The "bilateral talks" discussed would only be a side-meeting in the larger context of the six-party talks. If NK doesn't come back to the six-party talks, this bilateral side meeting will not occur.

Muslihoon said...

Thank you, captain ned! I appreciate it.