NoKo missile launch gets a boost from Iranians

Tensions are rising in advance of the expected launch of a North Korean missile that has the range to hit American territory. President Kim Jung Il is apparently receiving assistance on the launch from Tehran:

Missile experts from Iran are in North Korea to help Pyongyang prepare for a rocket launch, according to reports.

Amid increasing global concern over the launch, which the US and its allies consider to be illegal, Japan's Sankei Shimbun newspaper claimed today that a 15-strong delegation from Tehran has been in the country advising the North Koreans since the beginning of March.

The experts include senior officials from the Iranian rocket and satellite producer Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group, the newspaper said.

The Iranians brought a letter from President Ahmadinejad to the North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il stressing the importance of co-operating on space technology, it added.

As tensions increase ahead of the rocket launch, Japan's Air Self-Defense Force began deploying units capable of shooting down a rocket to the northern prefectures of Akita and Iwate.

Early today, units carrying Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missiles left a base in central Japan and will arrive at the northern prefectures on Monday, according to Japan's national broadcaster NHK.

On Friday Tokyo gave its military the green light to shoot down any incoming North Korean rockets.

Pyongyang has said that it will launch a communications satellite over northern Japan between April 4 and April 8, but the US and its allies in the region believe the secretive regime is actually planning illegally to test a long-range Taepodong-2 missile that could reach North America.

Japan and North Korea met in Washington this past week to coordinate efforts with the US. No doubt we are sharing intelligence and expertise with both nations as the launch window of April 4-8 announced by the North Koreans approaches.

It was a little more than 10 years ago that the North Korean launch of a Daepodong-1 missile overflew Japanese airspace. It is entirely understandable that the Japanese don't want a repeat and will shoot first and ask questions later if this powerful launch vehicle attempts anything similar.

Besides, no one is certain of Kim's intentions. The odds are extremely remote that the megalomaniac Korean dictator would have put a nuke in the nosecone of the missile but why take the chance? It also gives us an opportunity for a little target practice with the new Patriot system. 

It should be an interesting week.

 



Tensions are rising in advance of the expected launch of a North Korean missile that has the range to hit American territory. President Kim Jung Il is apparently receiving assistance on the launch from Tehran:

Missile experts from Iran are in North Korea to help Pyongyang prepare for a rocket launch, according to reports.

Amid increasing global concern over the launch, which the US and its allies consider to be illegal, Japan's Sankei Shimbun newspaper claimed today that a 15-strong delegation from Tehran has been in the country advising the North Koreans since the beginning of March.

The experts include senior officials from the Iranian rocket and satellite producer Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group, the newspaper said.

The Iranians brought a letter from President Ahmadinejad to the North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il stressing the importance of co-operating on space technology, it added.

As tensions increase ahead of the rocket launch, Japan's Air Self-Defense Force began deploying units capable of shooting down a rocket to the northern prefectures of Akita and Iwate.

Early today, units carrying Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missiles left a base in central Japan and will arrive at the northern prefectures on Monday, according to Japan's national broadcaster NHK.

On Friday Tokyo gave its military the green light to shoot down any incoming North Korean rockets.

Pyongyang has said that it will launch a communications satellite over northern Japan between April 4 and April 8, but the US and its allies in the region believe the secretive regime is actually planning illegally to test a long-range Taepodong-2 missile that could reach North America.

Japan and North Korea met in Washington this past week to coordinate efforts with the US. No doubt we are sharing intelligence and expertise with both nations as the launch window of April 4-8 announced by the North Koreans approaches.

It was a little more than 10 years ago that the North Korean launch of a Daepodong-1 missile overflew Japanese airspace. It is entirely understandable that the Japanese don't want a repeat and will shoot first and ask questions later if this powerful launch vehicle attempts anything similar.

Besides, no one is certain of Kim's intentions. The odds are extremely remote that the megalomaniac Korean dictator would have put a nuke in the nosecone of the missile but why take the chance? It also gives us an opportunity for a little target practice with the new Patriot system. 

It should be an interesting week.