North Korea Seeks Political Gain from Rocket Launch
By CHOE SANG-HUN, HELENE COOPER and DAVID E. SANGER
Published: April 6, 2009
SEOUL, South Korea — Despite the failure of North Korea’s attempt to launch a satellite, Pyongyang’s adversaries voiced alarm on Monday over the extended range of the North’s latest rocket, while the United Nations tumbled into a disarray over how to respond to what President Obama called a “provocative act.”
Washington and Seoul said the North Korean rocket launched on Sunday failed to thrust a satellite into orbit. But on Monday, seeking to garner political gain from the test, the North Korean media praised Kim Jong-il’s leadership, insisting that a communications satellite was circling the Earth, broadcasting patriotic songs.
Officials and analysts in Seoul said the North’s rocket, identified by American officials as a Taepodong-2, flew at least 2,000 miles, doubling the range of an earlier rocket it tested in 1998 and boosting its potential to fire a long-range missile.
The impoverished country may be years away from building a truly intercontinental ballistic missile and tipping it with a nuclear warhead. But to governments grown increasingly concerned by the North’s military might, the launch was a sign that it was doggedly moving in that direction.
“North Korea’s reckless act of threatening regional and global security cannot have any justification,” said President Lee Myung-bak of South Korea in a radio speech on Monday.
Hours after North Korea’s missile test on Sunday, President Obama called for new United Nations sanctions and laid out a new approach to American nuclear disarmament policy — one intended to strengthen the United States and its allies in halting proliferation.
“In a strange turn of history, the threat of global nuclear war has gone down, but the risk of a nuclear attack has gone up,” Mr. Obama told a huge crowd in Prague’s central square. “Black market trade in nuclear secrets and nuclear materials abound. The technology to build a bomb has spread.”
He said the North’s testing of “a rocket that could be used for long-range missiles” illustrated “the need for action, not just this afternoon at the U.N. Security Council, but in our determination to prevent the spread of these weapons.”
“Rules must be binding,” he said. “Violations must be punished. Words must mean something.”
THE REST here (The New York Times): http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/07/world/asia/07korea.html?ref=global-home
Really? I thought the North Koreans just enjoyed the sparkly things that came outta them rockets. Sigh, ILU headlines. But otherwise - yeah, srs bizness artickel.