Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Dear Leader Sinks Missiles

Today North Korea tested its seventh missile in two days provoking international ire and possibly auguring a unified response from the other five nations (U.S., Russia, China, Japan, and South Korea) in the six nation talks. Contrary to the accounts by the U.S., Japan, Korea, and Russia's Pravda, General Yuri Baluyevsky, Russian army chief of staff, stated that as many as 10 missiles (not including today's missile launch) were fired. Only one long-range missile, the Taepodong-2, was fired which failed soon after takeoff according to U.S. officials: according to Pravda, specialists believed that all six missiles fired yesterday encountered technical malfunction 40 seconds after their launch, traveled ten minutes after their launch, and covered 500 kilometers before falling into the northwestern part of the Sea of Japan.  (The American western coast falls within the range of a successful Taepodong 2 launch: Alaskan anti-ICBM defenses was put on alert to deal with any threat to the U.S. mainland.) An emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council has been called to deal with concerns chiefly expressed by Japanese and U.S. officials. Tony Snow, press secretary for the White House, indicated in this morning's press briefing that there is a danger of futher missile firings by North Korea of a shorter or medium-range type.

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