Korean Provocateurs

By: Joe Walsh

A North Korean missile launch pad. Image from time.com.

A North Korean missile launch pad. Image from time.com.

Sunday, April 5 marked North Korea’s first successful launch of a multistage rocket. The rocket went over Japan and landed in the Pacific Ocean at 9:30 p.m. EST.

This demonstration proved to the world that North Korea can not only launch a rocket, but one that has the ability to carry a destructive payload; though this test did not contain such a payload. Regardless, it has become something of deep concern to countries like South Korea, Japan, and the U.S.

“The fact that North Korea has the potential to attack our country in a huge way is shocking,” said Marist College junior Dan Greco. “The only mild sense of security I have is that they are probably more likely to hit a target on the West coast since it is much closer than attacking us here on the East Coast. It’s still clearly unacceptable, but I feel a little safer.”

The U.N. at large has issued several sanctions against North Korea, specifically U.N. Security Council Resolution 1718, in an effort to deter their nuclear ambitions. North Korea’s official news agency tried to assure the international community in an official statement that their efforts were merely to serve as “strictly peaceful purposes, largely to aid our search for food in outer space to meet the needs of our starving population.”

“I don’t know about you, but last time I checked nobody has found an abundance of food just sitting around in space,” Greco said. “They could have at least bothered to come up with a more realistic excuse.”

President Obama is currently abroad, forcing him to give a reaction from outside the White House in a less formal address to the American people and the world community:

“The launch today of a Taepo-dong 2 missile was a clear violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1718, which expressly prohibits North Korea from conducting ballistic missile-related activities of any kind. With this provocative act, North Korea has ignored its international obligations, rejected unequivocal calls for restraint, and further isolated itself from the community of nations.”

The launch beckons back to Vice President Joe Biden’s famous statement during the 2008 presidential election.

“Mark my words: It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy,” Biden said. The vice president relating the current situation to the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.

Not even he could have known that the test he spoke of would come less than three months into the president’s first term. Six months was giving anti-U.S. countries too little credit.

“I thought Biden was going to be wrong about us getting tested so soon into Obama’s first term,” Marist College freshman Jimmy Mercadante said. “I’m sure he’s not in the mood to say, ‘I told you so,’ with something like this. Plus, a multistage rocket just sounds intimidating, you can’t deny that.”

A multistage rocket uses two or more “stages” to propel itself. These separate stages have their own fuel and engines so that when the fuel is burned up, the rocket can release the empty sections. This reduces the amount of weight the rocket has to move for future acceleration by the other stages. It can be seen on rockets leaving NASA at Cape Canaveral, FL.

When President Obama was in London a week ago, he asked Chinese President Hu Jintao to

From U.N. Dept. of Public Information

From U.N. Dept. of Public Information

speak with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il in an effort to quell his nuclear ambitions.

“The Chinese…don’t want to see the Japanese get nuclear weapons,” ex-Pentagon official Lawrence Korb said. Korb, currently a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress think tank added, “We need to tell the Chinese if North Korea keeps it up we’re not going to be able to hold Japan back.”

Citizens like writer Michael Hughes are recalling past U.S. conflicts and applying them to current struggles.

“…Obama must exude strength and not blink as he stands eyeball-to-eyeball with Kim Il Jong, because it will set the tone of conflict in these early stages of the New Cold War.”

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