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More fireworks

North Korea goes ahead with a controversial and threatening rocket launch

Written by The Indian Express |
April 6, 2009 12:45:50 am

Despite calls from the international community,North Korea has defiantly launched a rocket. Pyongyang maintains that the rocket carries nothing but a communication satellite; further,it argues in its defence that it has the right to place such satellites into orbit. The launch of the missile however has graver implications; simply put,it exhibits that North Korea can theoretically launch nuclear warheads capable of reaching Alaska or Hawaii.

The North Korean government is curtained behind a veil of secrecy. Very little is known about the country or its leadership. Accounts of its leaders’ birth are a case in point. The state media maintains that “flashes of light and thunder,the iceberg in the pond of Mount Paektu emitted a mysterious sound as it broke,and bright double rainbows rose up” and thus Kim Jong Il was born. Rumours emerging from September 2008 talk of Kim’s poor health; he has failed to appoint an heir apparent,and thus this leaves a vacuum in North Korean leadership.

The United Nations has called for an emergency meeting of the Security Council to discuss the implications of this move. However,ultimately matters rest upon North Korea’s participation in the ongoing Six Party Talks. North

Korea agreed to come to the diplomatic table in 2003; after much deliberation it agreed to the September 2005 agreement. The agreement mandated that North Korea would abandon its uranium enrichment activities; these have been in vain. However,the Obama administration along with South Korea and China has the capacity to coerce the Pyongyang ruling elite back to the diplomatic table.

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