Saturday, September 30, 2006

Taep'o dong-2 Judged a Failure

It would not surprise me to learn that a number of North Korean engineers' lives have been ruined or ended over this.

N. Korean long-range missile test ruled a failure
LONDON — North Korea's test launch of its Taepodong-2 intermediate-range ballistic missile has been ruled a failure. Initial speculation included the possibility North Korea had deliberately terminated its flight.

The South Korean military said Pyongyang's Taepodong-2 test on July 5, in a launch attended by Iran, was due to "technical failure." The military said the Taepodong, supplied to Iran, broke up in mid-flight.

"The long-range Taepodong-2 crashed into a beach on the east coast about two kilometers from the launching site after traveling normally for 40 seconds," a spokesman of the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

The South Korean assessment was one of several conducted over the last few weeks. At first, the United States also announced that the Taepodong-2 failed in its first flight, Middle East Newsline reported. Later, U.S. officials said the intelligence community assessed that the launch was meant to test Pyongyang's command and control system.

But the South Korean military, which studied the launch for two months, said Taepodong-2 contained serious technical flaws. Officials said the missile broke up during flight because of a "serious technical disorder."
The nuclear weapons programs of both North Korea and Iran depend on the success of this, or a follow-on missile system. We in the U.S. had many missile test failures before we got on track with a successful program.

This is not a long term setback for the North Koreans.

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