Military, other experts say N. Korea missile launch a failure

April 6th, 2009 - 12:48 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington/Seoul, Apr.6 (ANI): Military and private experts have said North Korea has failed to fire its Taepodong-II missile after reviewing detailed tracking data that showed the missile and payload falling into the sea.

Some said the failure undercut the North Korean campaign to come across as a fearsome adversary.

Looking at the launch from a purely technical vantage point, space experts said the failure represented a blow that in all likelihood would seriously delay the missile’s debut.

“It’s got to be embarrassing. I can imagine heads flying if the ‘Dear Leader’ (North Korea’s reclusive leader Kim Jong-il) finds out the satellite didn’t fly into orbit,” Fox News quoted ,” Geoffrey E. Forden, a missile expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as saying.

“It’s a setback,” Jonathan McDowell, a Harvard astronomer who tracks satellites and rocket launchings, said of the North Korean launching.

“The missile doesn’t represent any kind of near-term threat,” he added.

The United States Northern Command, based in Colorado Springs, issued a statement on Sunday that portrayed the launching as a major failure.

It based its information on a maze of federal radars, spy ships and satellites that monitor global missile firings.

North Korea’s official news agency Yonhap, however, said Kim Jong-Il attended the launching.

North Korea’s public portrayal of the event as a complete success was similar in its celebratory tone to the happy note it struck in 1998 after having failed to loft a satellite into orbit. (ANI)

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