Responding to North Korea

North Korea has moved what they have called a satellite launch vehicle and Japan, South Korea, and the United States believe is a long-range missile into position for launching as early as next week. Japan has announced its intention of shooting the missile down should it near Japanese territory. Japan, South Korea, and the United States are putting their heads together to figure out what to do next:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Top nuclear envoys from Japan, South Korea and the United States are set to meet in Washington on Friday, signaling growing concern over North Korea’s plans to launch a long-range missile.

State Department spokesman Gordon Duguid announced the meetings between envoys from the three nations — the first substantive talks on the North Korea issue since U.S. President Barack Obama took office in January.

He said U.S. diplomats responsible for the North Korea nuclear dossier would meet the Japanese and South Korean envoys separately and then all three parties could meet informally too.

Duguid had no details of the agenda but the talks are expected to focus on a long-range missile North Korea has in place for launch, which Washington and its allies say would violate U.N. sanctions imposed on the reclusive state for past weapons tests.

“A launch of any type of vehicle we would consider to be in violation of the U.N. Security Council resolutions,” said Duguid. “This provocative type of action would … not go unnoticed,” he told reporters.

Right at the moment the Obama Administration has quite a bit on its plate. The economy still needs attention, there are several important meetings going on in Europe next week including an international conference on Afghanistan. And North Korea will not be ignored.

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Dave Schuler
About Dave Schuler
Over the years Dave Schuler has worked as a martial arts instructor, a handyman, a musician, a cook, and a translator. He's owned his own company for the last thirty years and has a post-graduate degree in his field. He comes from a family of politicians, teachers, and vaudeville entertainers. All-in-all a pretty good preparation for blogging. He has contributed to OTB since November 2006 but mostly writes at his own blog, The Glittering Eye, which he started in March 2004.


  1. Hoodlumman says:

    Not to worry. This guy has decades of experience.

  2. Michael says:

    I wonder if we could modify one of those laser-carrying 747 to bake the missile with EM radiation for an extended period to try and cause electronics failure before it even launches. Best result all around is for a “malfunction” on the pad.

  3. John425 says:

    Author: “Right at the moment the Obama Administration has quite a bit on its plate.”

    Dang those pesky North Koreans for not waiting for their turn to be mentioned on the teleprompter!

  4. Right at the moment the Obama Administration has quite a bit on its plate.

    As I understand it, he asked for the job. In fact, he spent a lot of money to get it.

    I saw part of a series on US Presidents last night on the International History Channel and one of the things they noted was that US Presidents reputation, or legacy if you prefer, is almost always decided by events utterly beyond their control.

  5. Drew says:

    Dave –

    What would be the real motivation for the timing of this “test?”

    Is it technical: to test the launch capabilities?

    Is it political specific: to test the resolve of the new administartion?

    Is it political general: to test the influence the current Administration has on the UN and other players?

    I’m surprised Bernard Finel has not weighed in. Is this not squarely within his sphere of expertise?

  6. Dave Schuler says:

    My guess is all of the above. Plus a demonstration of capability for prospective customers.

    And, of course, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

  7. If, as sometimes happens under the best of circumstances when launching a rocket, there is a catastrophic failure to launch, who thinks the North Koreans won’t blame it on sabotage or some other overt act by the United States and/or South Korea and/or Japan?

    Then what?