NK satellite may be real

Allen Thomson (thomsona@dzn.com)
Sat, 12 Sep 1998 07:35:55 -0600

This is weird...


>From http://www.asahi.com/english/enews/enews.html#enews_16979
N. Korea missile a satellite launch, U.S. officials say
By TAKAAKI MIZUNO

Asahi Shimbun

WASHINGTON--Contradicting earlier reports, U.S. State Department officials
confirmed Friday that Pyongyang launched a satellite--not a missile--on Aug.
31.

It was widely reported that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North
Korea) fired a two-stage Daepodong-1 ballistic missile over Japan, which
prompted Tokyo to freeze a $1 billion (135 billion yen) contribution to
North Korea for light-water nuclear reactors. North Korea said the missile
was in fact a rocket that was used for the launching of the satellite. The
U.S. State Department officials confirmed this Friday.  [11 September]

However, the satellite is not functioning, U.S. officials said,
contradicting Pyongyang's announcement that the satellite is sending
information to Earth. The officials did not say what they based their
conclusion on, but the U.S. government discussed the issue Thursday with the
representatives of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
and the National Security Agency.

The U.S. Defense Department says the launch still poses a threat because it
proved the technological advancement of North Korea. But the Japanese
government, which criticized Pyongyang's explanation of the launch, may now
alter its stance on the contribution, observers say.