For being the smartest species on the planet, we sure can be dumb.
Friday, April 13, 2012
Like Father, Like Son...He just couldn't get it up either.
North Korea state media acknowledged today that the long-range test rocket that the country launched in defiance of much of the world failed to enter orbit.
The 90-ton rocket launched at 6:39 p.m. ET Thursday, but 81 seconds into the launch the U.S. detected a substantially larger than expected flare and by 10 minutes after launch, the rocket was no longer on several radar screens, U.S. officials said.
South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reports, "the Unha-3 rocket exploded in just one to two minutes after lift-off at 7:39 a.m. [local time] and disintegrated into about 20 pieces as it crashed into international waters off South Korea's west coast, according to South Korea's Defense Ministry."
The U.S., Japan and other nations, including Russia, were quick to condemn North Korea's decision to fire the missile. They had called for the North to suspend any such action.
On Morning Edition, Louisa reported that because the rocket's failure is perhaps the most embarrassing moment in the North's history, new leader Kim Jong Un and others in the hierarchy will likely be looking for other ways to show their strength.
"In South Korea," Louisa says, "a defense ministry official warned parliament that the possibility of a nuclear test – North Korea's third — or of other provocations is very high. And Peter Beck from the Asia Foundation in Seoul agrees that this failure is likely to make Pyongyang more belligerent."
North Korea must prove to the world "that it can move forward unimpeded despite this failure," Beck says. "I think we're entering into a new era of provocation by the North because it's been so embarrassed in front of the international community."