Space Launch or Missile Test?: North Korea?s Intentions in Space

Nearly one month after Iran joined the ranks of space-faring nations, North Korea announced its intention to place a communications satellite into orbit. The timing of Pyongyang’s launch is not clear, but a spokesman for North Korea’s Space Technology Committee said preparations are in “full swing” at a northeastern coast launch site. The official admission follows weeks of speculation that North Korea would test a long-range ballistic missile. After speaking with her counterpart in Japan on February 17, Secretary of State Clinton said any North Korean missile test would be “very unhelpful.” Admiral Timothy Keating, the head of U.S. Pacific Command, said the U.S. military is prepared to shoot down any North Korean missile, should President Obama give the order.

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