Tags: north | korea | missile

Intel Source: North Korea Wins in Missile Launch

Monday, 06 Apr 2009 03:06 PM

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A source close to the U.S. intelligence community tells Newsmax that North Korea’s launch of a missile was, contrary to widespread reports, a big win for the reclusive communist state.

The three-stage Taepodong-2 missile was launched on Sunday, and according to North Korea was intended to place a satellite in orbit.

North Korea claimed the launch was a success and the satellite was in orbit broadcasting patriotic tunes. But American officials said the missile’s payload instead splashed into the Pacific Ocean after a flight of about 2,000 miles, and the New York Times termed the launch “a failure.”

But the close source told Newsmax the launch that North Korea’s satellite claim could well have been a “ruse” – with the real goal of the launch to test the missile’s range.

“A 2,000-mile shot is a significant technical achievement. And a test is a test. It provided North Korea with valuable data and experience, not to mention publicity to help it sell more missiles to Iran, Syria and other countries.”

Iran’s involvement in the North Korean missile launch is worrisome.

There were in fact reports that Iranian missile experts were at the scene of the launch.

Currently Iran’s most advanced missiles, the Shahab-3 and Sajjil, have a maximum range of about 1,200 miles. A missile with a 2,000-mile range could not only strike Israel with ease, but threaten Europe and other targets throughout the Middle East.

Even more ominously, David Wright, a senior scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, told The Times that the missile developed by North Korea — which has already tested a nuclear device — could eventually deliver a 2,000-pound warhead a distance of some 3,700 miles, far enough to reach parts of Alaska. And in Iranian hands it would place all of Europe under the threat of a missile attack from the Islamic Republic, which is widely believed to be seeking to develop nuclear weapons.

President Barack Obama’s special envoy for North Korea had warned that the communist country would face “consequences” if it went ahead with the launch, and Obama’s inability to stop the launch has made the U.S. appear impotent in dealing with the growing North Korean threat.

“The launch puts Obama in a bind since the United Nations is unlikely to do anything meaningful,” the intelligence community source said.

“The launch probably will strengthen North Korea’s hand given the weakness of the Obama foreign policy team and its desire to score a diplomatic ‘win’ with some kind of — any kind of — agreement.”

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