North Korea Fires Missiles
After weeks of provocation, North Korea finally test-fired its Taepodong-2 long-range missile and at least two Scud missiles at approximately the same time the U.S. space shuttle Discovery took off from Cape Canaveral. Fortunately, the long-range missile failed just seconds after launch. Via Breitbart/AP:
North Korea launched a long-range missile Wednesday that may be capable of reaching the United States but it failed after 35 or 40 seconds, two State Department officials said.
The missile was one of at least three that were fired. The two others were short-range missiles. All landed in the Sea of Japan, said the Japanese government, which was unable to confirm that they included a long-range missile.
The officials in Washington, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the long-range missile was the Taepodong-2, North Korea’s most advanced missile with a range of up to 9,320 miles.
As I see it, Kim Jong Il was trying to make a bold statement by test-firing the Taepodong-2 long-range missile on the same day that Discovery launched (not to mention our Independence Day). And, as luck would have it, that missile fizzled and now Kim Jong Il’s planned act of triumphant international defiance is nothing but an international embarrassment for North Korea. Serves that little tyrant right.
UPDATE (James Joyner 7/5): They just fired a 7th missile.