NK satellite may be real - or not

Philip Chien (kc4yer@amsat.org)
Sun, 13 Sep 1998 02:52:44 -0400

"Allen Thomson" <thomsona@dzn.com> said:

>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.

<snip>

>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.

It sure would be nice if this story had names or other ways of verifying
it.  Who at the State Department confirmed this?  The janitor?

>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.

even then, at best it would say that North Korea, during a time of intense
regional tensions, launched a rocket without any advanced warning over
another country's territory.

While there _may_ have been an attempt to put a satellite in to orbit by
North Korea, there's little doubt in my mind that the primary purpose was
to test a missile.  Until I see a USSPACECOM serial number I'm still taking
the stance that North Korea put nothing in to orbit with their "satellite
launcher".

For another perspective, check out the Associated Press story.  I found it
on the CNN web page at -

http://www.cnn.com/cnn/TECH/space/9809/11/nkorea.satellite.ap/index.html

In addition I'm finding the stories from the North Korean propaganda
minsistry to be incredibly amusing reading -

http://www.kcna.co.jp/



Philip Chien, KC4YER
Earth News
world (in)famous writer, science fiction fan, ham radio operator,
all-around nice guy, etc.