Monday, June 19, 2006

This Dong's For You: Pyongyang Grabs the Mike.

It is being widely reported today that the North Koreans-you know, those wonderful folks from north of the 38th parallel who brought you the Korean War, abductions of Japanese women off the street, mass starvation, refried Scud missiles for all able to pay for them, counterfeit money, factory made methamphetamine, brainwashing, and the Pueblo hijacking-where was I?

Oh yes. I remember now. The folks from Pyongyang, taking time from paying eternal homage to Big Daddy Kim Jong-il and Papa Kim Il-sung are getting ready to test launch the latest iteration of their attempt at an I.C.B.M. if you are old enough to shiver a bit at the term.

This one is the Taepodong-2, and it features a modified Scud-C sitting on top of a No-dong 1. It is alleged to have a range of 5,000 km and is capable of launching-well, anything you'd like, really.

Rumor has it the Iranians and the Pakistanis are interested in acquiring more Dong technology. It is also suggested that it's merely an attempt by these folks to acquire some independent satellite launching capabilities. If this is the case, one might say there is a shortage of Dong in those countries.

Time will tell. At this point it is said fueling is going on, and if that is true, it is a dicey proposition to defuel the at that point extremely hazardous missile. One might also suppose that the missile cannot sit there forever with its load of fuel and oxidizers on board.

So if the missile has been fueled, it will most likely be fired unless they're filling it up with tap water and making a big show of things for the spy satellites that are parked overhead. It's also reported that the weather in the region is somewhat overcast but a peek at the weather map shows a bit of clearing toward the end of the week. Chances are, the best time for a shot should be on Thursday. On the other hand, the I.C.B.M. people do not get to choose the time of launching if the fat's in the fire so it could come anytime.

I dunno. "This Dong's for you! This Dong's for you! And this Dong's for you and you!" is starting to sound like that Jackie Mason schtick on the Ed Sullivan show a few years ago, but it is one that people are getting upset over. What's even more puzzling is how much power can be controlled by two of the ugliest people who ever lorded it over their fellows. The interesting thing about Kim Jong-il is how chubby he is-in a country where square meals are as scarce as prairie chickens.

The best result for everyone would be if the damned thing blows up on the launch pad.

Photo credit: Global

Update 6-20-06.

It was reported in The Australian this afternoon that the U.S. and probably Japan are ready for an immediate imposition of economic sanctions against the North Koreans if they launch the Taepodong 2. These sanctions would likely make things tougher for Pyongyang to launder counterfeit money and get paid for methamphetamine and Scud parts than they already are.

It has also been reported that two Aegis cruisers of the US Navy are parked offshore with all eyes trained on the launch site. If the Taepodong 2 is launched, in all likelihood Uncle will use it as a real life road test for the I.C.B.M. kill vehicle system that's currently being developed.,5942,19539252,00.html


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