Why did North Korea launch a rocket?
A North Korean soldier stands guard in front of the rocket days before its launch
April 12th, 2012
08:08 PM ET

Why did North Korea launch a rocket?

By Jamie Crawford

With North Korea's launch of a rocket that most see as cover for a ballistic missile test, a deal to resume food aid from the United States now dead, the loud chorus from the international community that was already condemning the act as an unnecessary provocation is only likely to grow louder in the coming days.

"They have nothing to gain and only further isolation to anticipate should they go ahead with this," Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said on CNN's John King, USA earlier this week.

The United States and its allies had been if anything unambiguous with their thoughts on the launch. So just why did Pyongyang go ahead with the launch? There is no shortage of answers or theories to that question, but many analysts who follow the country say the regime simply does not have that much to lose, and thus need not weigh much in the way of costs versus benefits going forward.

"How much more isolated can you get?" asks James Acton of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The United Nations has sanctioned North Korea many times over for its provocative acts of the past, and the country's largest economic and political benefactor China, is unlikely to support any additional penalties at the Security Council this time.

"There may be some financial sanctions that the United States and its friends can unilaterally apply, but this is already by a long way the most isolated country on Earth," Acton said. "The truth is that our ability to inflict significant costs on North Korea is not all that large."

The timing of the launch was not coincidental, and that too played into the North Korean calculus. For years, North Korea has been planning to mark 2012 as a year in which it would show the world it has become a great and prosperous nation. In homage to the centenary of the country's founder Kim ill Sung, his son and successor Kim Jong-Il had ordered the launch of the satellite around the birthday of Kim Il Sung on April 15.

With a leadership succession to Kim Jong Un following the death of his father in December, many Korea watchers say the North could not back down from the launch because it would also serve to fracture the succession process, and expose faults and flaws in the system.

"It's become part of the national identity and nation building, it's not simply a disguised ballistic missile test," says Victor Cha, an analyst with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and author of the book "The Impossible State: North Korea, Past and Future."

For Cha, the launch is part of a national process of building a narrative and myth about the new young leader. For his grandfather Kim il Sung, the constructed narrative was that of a founding father of the 'workers paradise,' and for Kim Jong-il it was the development of a nuclear program to complement its ballistic missile technology as a means of protecting the nation from outside forces.

"They need to build a new myth for him," Cha says of Kim Jong Un. Part of that myth is "the notion of trying to reach new technological heights with indigenous technology, not relying on others. So space is the frontier they want to conquer."

There is likely a military component to the launch as well.

While the North portrays it as solely about putting a satellite in orbit to add an air of international legitimacy, the technology of launching satellites and ballistic missiles are similar, and the need to further test their military defense capabilities is needed to move forward.

"This is about developing a long range ballistic missile that is capable of hitting the United States," said Acton with Carnegie.

Before he left office, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates voiced concerns over the North's military aims. "North Korea now constitutes a direct threat to the United States," he said in an interview with Newsweek while voicing concern over possible future missile technology that would be more difficult to preemptively destroy. "They are developing a road-mobile ICBM [Intercontinental Ballistic missile]. I never would have dreamed they would go to a road-mobile before testing a static ICBM."

"North Korea needs these [static missile] tests to develop missile technology," that could lead to advancement in mobile-delivery technology Acton said.

And the legacies of Iraq and Afghanistan may also be playing into the North's thinking as well.

"It's not just politics, it's the very life of the system and at the same time it sends a strong message to the world," said Cha. As Director of Asian Affairs on the National Security Council during the George W. Bush administration, Cha said his North Korea interlocutors told them their large military buildup was largely a product of seeing that Iraq and Afghanistan lacked nuclear weapons, and would never have been attacked had they possessed them.

Continuing a campaign of military advancement is a small price to pay to avoid a future U.S. attack in the North's mind Cha says. "For them, they lose a little bit of food [aid], but in the end, its a win win for them at least in their own way of thinking."

"Its always at best educated guess work with the North Koreans," says Mike Chinoy, a senior fellow at the U.S.-China Institute at the University of Southern California, and author of the book "Meltdown: The Inside Story of the North Korean Nuclear Crisis."

Chinoy, who traveled to North Korea many times as a CNN correspondent, says there is more than just birthday celebrations and national defense capabilities at work. The North's mortal enemy and neighbor, South Korea, is a factor as well. "There is a little bit of North-South competition here," he told CNN.

For decades, South Korea has been trying to put a satellite in orbit without any success. "If the North could actually get whatever this thing is on top of their rocket into orbit, they can trumpet that as a triumph over the South."

Most analysts who follow North Korea see a familiar script being re-written with North Korean provocation being followed by global condemnation, and a period of further isolation from the international community. Satellite, ballistic missile test or both, the regime appears certain in its abilities to weather the storm once again.

Chinoy says the invitation to a large contingent of foreign media by North Korea to visit the launch site and report the launch from inside the country is a sign the new regime is very confident of its hold on power, and keep control of events. "I have been there enough to know that the slightest twinge of anxiety and the door just slams shut."

Post by:
Filed under: North Korea • Nuclear • Security Brief
soundoff (292 Responses)
  1. Contracting Info

    Hey There. I found your weblog the use of msn. That is an extremely well written article. I will make sure to bookmark it and return to learn extra of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I'll definitely comeback.

    August 29, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Reply
  2. låna 2000 direkt

    You can certainly see your expertise in the paintings you write. The world hopes for even more passionate writers like you who aren't afraid to mention how they believe. At all times go after your heart.

    May 2, 2012 at 5:29 am | Reply
  3. treatment for back acne

    Hi, i think that i noticed you visited my website so i got here to return the desire?.I'm attempting to to find things to improve my site!I suppose its adequate to use some of your ideas!!

    April 22, 2012 at 3:46 am | Reply
  4. advanced technology

    Hiya very cool web site!! Guy .. Beautiful .. Wonderful .. I will bookmark your website and take the feeds also?I am glad to find a lot of useful info here in the put up, we want develop extra techniques on this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .

    April 19, 2012 at 5:52 am | Reply
  5. couleurs

    Wonderful items from you, man. I've bear in mind your stuff prior to and you are just too great. I actually like what you've bought here, certainly like what you are saying and the way during which you assert it. You are making it enjoyable and you still care for to stay it sensible. I can not wait to read much more from you. That is really a great site.

    April 16, 2012 at 8:07 pm | Reply
  6. Giljuko Gwami

    "They have nothing to gain and only further isolation to anticipate should they go ahead with this" – And they WANT that kind of isolation

    When missile tests fail, spread propaganda leaflets throughout the country. Keep doing it till they capitulate

    April 16, 2012 at 8:26 am | Reply
  7. Stewart

    North Korea already has nuclear weapons. They proved that a few years ago by blowing one up in an under ground test. Currently they are estimated at having between 6 to 10 nukes. The North has nothing to loose as you see. The South wouldnt dare to start a war with them because of the amount of destruction which would be inflicted on Seoul. Seoul is way to close to the the DMZ which can easliy be targeted by North Korean Medium and Long Range Artillery. No one side wants to loose power nor will either side prevail if there is a war. The Military runs the North and will never give that control up even if it ment reuniting the 2 countries. It will never ever happen. All you can do is cut them off and the hands that feed them (Iran and Syria). You cut the heads off those 2 snakes then you will see some vast changes in the Norths Behavior. No one esle will be around to buy their missile technology.

    April 16, 2012 at 2:13 am | Reply
    • Adam

      Your comment would be much more helpful if you would learn how to spell the word "lose."

      April 16, 2012 at 6:04 am | Reply
      • Chris

        Also 'else'.

        April 16, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • speller

      lose. not loose.

      July 20, 2012 at 4:47 am | Reply
  8. John Slabinski

    Trying to make rules for and indirectly run other countries is what will ultimately be our country's downfall.

    April 16, 2012 at 12:55 am | Reply
  9. Rich

    North Korean scientists couldn't organize a trip to the men's rm, much less low earth orbit. The Mythbusters could have done a better job. Why are we scared of those clowns?

    April 16, 2012 at 12:04 am | Reply
  10. mujib

    NK is not a problem,China playing the game& enjoying until NK get nuke.Now NK pain in a ass to china but she can't
    say nothing.NK no need our food She just demand to china. That long china playing card now if west know how
    to play card it will enjoyable.One day NK nuke may be used against china.

    April 15, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Reply
    • Steven

      What? Think before you talk and don't depend on google translate.

      April 15, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Reply
  11. The_Mick

    Countries who can launch atom bombs at other countries are not invaded. That is why NK wants the bomb and the missile. In the long run, NKs chances of long-term existence are slim without the bomb. Eventually, the prosperous South would absorb them.

    April 15, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Reply
  12. netninja

    1. Stop feeding them
    2. Pull out of South Korea

    Now it becomes a South Korea and China problem.

    April 15, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Reply
    • Giljuko Gwami

      No. There's no way we will pull out of South Korea. I know China sees NK as a buffer country for the US military, but it will be worse if the US pulls out

      April 16, 2012 at 8:28 am | Reply
  13. Kerry

    The launch was meant as a domestic propaganda show of how N. Korea is at the center of the world. The foreign journalists were invited and filmed to demonstrate how the rest of the world looks up to N. Korea. Now, everyone knows that N. Korea is a pariah state, but without access to outside media, the people of N. Korea don't know that, and it is a way to strengthen people's resolve to work harder for the glory of the Kim dynasty, despite all adversities. N. Korea has its own ideology and the time has come for Americans to recognize that every nation has its own way of justifying its existence, right, wrong or indifferent. This launch had nothing to do with the billion dollars worth of food aid. A dictatorial regime has two choices: one, to constantly oppress/coerce its people; or two, use foreign participation at military parades or rocket launching to show the duped populous how advanced the nation is. It is time that we Americans learn to view the world from other's perspectives instead of imposing our ideology on others. We and the former Soviets were so focused on MAD and the Iron Curtain vs. West that we have basically ignored how other nations function. This doesn't help us any when it comes to being competitive strategically on economic development matters or furthering our national interests.

    April 15, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Reply
  14. fed up

    These murderers wasted a billion dollars on this dud, while thousands of North Korea's people starved to death. How low can you go?

    April 15, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Reply
    • christopherknappphotography

      The US spends over $660 Billion to "protect" itself and impose upon other countries for resources while hundreds of thousands are homeless, jobless, dying from curable diseases or are already on their deathbed.

      How low can the US go?

      April 15, 2012 at 10:06 pm | Reply
    • Giljuko Gwami

      Chris Knapp,
      1. The degree that NK starves people is far worse than whatever neglect comes from US overemphasis on military. This is despite the US having a larger population
      2. Don't comment on politics on internet forums using your business account.

      April 16, 2012 at 8:29 am | Reply
  15. JFK57

    Two things have recently become known about North Korea.....
    1. They should have watched the movie "October Sky" for tips on how to build a rocket.... but obviously didn't, and
    2. Their military hat budget must be huge

    April 15, 2012 at 11:57 am | Reply
  16. CatSh

    One thing doesn't quite line up with this scenario. NK has to know that the US and it's allies won't dare attack because it would bring an unpleasant response from their big buddy China. Why spend all that money on building your own nukes when China's nukes work so much better as a deterrent?
    However, what if the power they actually fear is CHINA? If China would decide to march in 'for the good of the Korean people', who would stop them? Sure, the US and SK wouldn't be happy about it and complain loudly. But fight another Korean War- not likely. Certainly not to save the Kim dynasty or NK way of life.....

    April 15, 2012 at 10:06 am | Reply
    • Kunst

      Roll those dice again. Maybe space aliens will come up next time. No, they aren't worried about being attacked by China, or Russia for that matter. Where their thinking is off is that they have sufficient conventional forces to devastate Seoul, which is more than enough deterent. On top of that, there is no rational basis for imagining the US invading North Korea. The other factor to consider is that their biggest threat is their own people.

      April 15, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Reply
  17. stateschool

    I think we should quietly give South Korea the technology they need to successfully put a satellite into orbit. If they've been trying and failing for decades, and the North wants to show them up by beating them to it, we can at least get a little egg on Kim Jong Un's face by helping the South get there first.

    April 15, 2012 at 9:55 am | Reply
    • ????

      Yep, we are only around 14-17.5 trillion in debt, according to which numbers you choose to believe. What's a few billion more among friends?

      April 15, 2012 at 10:13 am | Reply
    • JFK57

      The U.S. has satellites everywhere. W have NK so dialed in the can't light a firecracker without us knowing it.

      April 15, 2012 at 11:52 am | Reply
  18. online games,computer games,flash games,flash gaming,online gaming,online game,pc games,game reviews,game releases,new games

    I've been surfing online greater than 3 hours these days, but I never found any attention-grabbing article like yours. It's lovely price sufficient for me. In my opinion, if all website owners and bloggers made just right content as you did, the internet shall be a lot more useful than ever before.

    April 15, 2012 at 9:26 am | Reply
  19. Kim Jung is Obese, yet his military troops are emaciated

    no lice for you!

    April 15, 2012 at 1:41 am | Reply
  20. worsty

    And we have been supplying them with food and fat as$ Kim Jong Un has been eating it all by himself it seems. Hes the same as Achmed ImaDinajacket ..overfed and underintellegent

    April 15, 2012 at 1:14 am | Reply
  21. Ralph in Orange Park, FL

    They were trying to make Kim Ugly Toad the Third look like a player. Instead, they made him look like an idiot.

    April 15, 2012 at 12:48 am | Reply
    • Ethan Park

      I agree with u ha make him look like an idiot.

      April 20, 2012 at 12:11 am | Reply
  22. Tr1Xen

    "Why did North Korea launch a rocket?"

    Because they're dickwads. There. I just shortened your article to a single sentence. 😉

    April 15, 2012 at 12:43 am | Reply
  23. buffiesguy

    NK launched because the Communist Regime cares not one whit about the country's people – only their delusional vision of military supremacy. Sad how millions starve, but the Regime can spend millions upon millions on an arsenal.

    April 14, 2012 at 9:56 pm | Reply
  24. Thomas

    I think the first thing one needs to know is what caused the failure. It has been assumed that the cause was based on North Korea's own incompentency. However, sabotage has to be considered either by outside people or even inside. It is still not clear who is really running the government.There may be a power struggle going on in the government. There are rumors that the father did not die a natural death. I think all governments should act carefully before making any statements until the facts are known.

    April 14, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Reply
  25. mark

    if china wants to show the world it has arrived and it is north korea's closest ally. why doesn't it send them food? it's like the sketchy new neighbor on the block who neglects his scary dog which repeatedly bites people (or torpedoes ships...).

    April 14, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Reply
    • fukuro1

      China gives plenty of food to the DPRK

      2001 is the only year in the last 15 years that the US provided significantly more food aid than China. Also, China has provided the DPRK with 150,000 metric tons of heavy fuel oil while the US has provided 200,000 metric tons.

      I would leave you a link to a reference, but any search engine will turn up plenty of results (WFP website for one) to support this.

      April 15, 2012 at 1:09 am | Reply
  26. Right-On

    After so many failed launches, maybe the U.S. 's SDI program actually wasn't cancelled....electromagnetic weapons, anyone?

    April 14, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Reply
  27. Right-On

    That soldier's family must be proud. He's on CNN! : D

    April 14, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Reply
  28. Rocketman

    Kool looking hat. I wannna to buy one. I wonder if the DPRK has a Military Surplus Store???

    April 14, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Reply
  29. Rob

    If you cooked a six course meal at the border of North Korea and invited the guards over for dinner. I wonder what would happen? I think they would come over.

    April 14, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Reply
    • Dupper

      They would shoot you when you approch their guard bunker. the meal would go uneaten while your body bleeds out from such a foolish act.

      April 14, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Reply
    • mark

      and it only takes one coworker to shoot you in the back for being a traitor...no..they dare not attend. besides, the most hungry wouldn't be the military. (they might seem hungry compared to the south, but not to the civilians in the north).

      April 14, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Reply
  30. Chuck

    It was SO nice of the W Bush administration to allow NK to become a nuclear power. This happened under the Republican watch, and their policies contributed directly to the detonation/testing of the Korean nukes.

    Some of you might recall that the Clinton Administration had NK on the path to not only close it's nuclear program forever, but they were also moving into more 'normal' relations with the rest of the world. The "Axis of Evil" speech pretty much threw all of that out the window, in what most around the world agree was a grave mistake.

    Now, we have to live with it. Either that, or we have to attack NK because ther really will eventually have a full arsenal capable of hitting the United States.

    This is what happens when you have people in power in the U.S. who don't think comments and actions through in the name of cowboy bravado. The world is a less-safe place because of those policies, and the current U.S. administration can't do much about it as a result.

    Thanks Bush voters.

    April 14, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Reply
  31. Bobby

    Geez is that soldier pictured wearing his Easter bonnet – LMAO 😉

    April 14, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Reply
    • F B M

      Is it really any more ridiculous than the 'Tom of Finland' look that our boys prance around in?

      April 15, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Reply
      • big b

        Yes....it is.

        April 16, 2012 at 9:21 am |
  32. peterweicker

    Anyone who forgets how well America's first launches went should poke around YouTube. The world should focus its energies on pressuring North Korea (and more importantly, China) to democratize, not on condemning it for something it has every right to do. Governments accountable to their peoples are far less dangerous than those subject to the whims of dictators or narrow elites.
    This launch is a criminally stupid waste of resources, but if the U.S. has the right to launch satellites, then so does North Korea and every other country. If there is no onus on the U.S. to prove that its satellite launches are not missile tests, then the same is true for North Korea and every other country.
    The mindless media groupthink that led America to its glorious triumph in Iraq is fully operational. As long as the premises for public discussion are predefined by string pullers the disasters will keep coming. The only path to peace is through establishing democracy everywhere. That's something that everyone has the right to demand of every state.

    April 14, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Reply
    • RhedNiele

      Well put peter. America has long practiced "do as we say, not as we do" diplomacy. I don't think withholding food from the North Koreans will make much difference at all. They are already starving. I think the opposite might just be a little more effective – let's drop food aid all over the country and let their people see that their own government isn't feeding and caring for them, we are. It's hard for people to strive for freedom and a more democratic society when they're starving to death. Let's feed them, via South Korea, and let the North Koreans see who's taking care of them. My guess is that their "arch-enemies" would soon become their allies in their struggle for a more open and democratic society.

      April 14, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Reply
      • Giljuko Gwami

        At the same time NGOs don't want to give food to groups that don't need it. North Korea diverts food aid to groups that don't need it, while the groups that need it still starve

        April 16, 2012 at 8:37 am |
    • JoeBoy

      The difference is, they have stated what they would like to do with their new found weapon....try to destroy the US.We offer aid to most of the world even though they hate us. Maybe the US should say okay, we see your intentions so we will now build up our forces closer to North Korea to include North Korea as a target should they go ballistic. Then they WOULD have a reason to fear the US.

      April 14, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Reply
  33. palintwit

    Physicists at the famous Sarah Palin University are at this very moment developing a long range ballistic trailer. Soon every nascar track in the country will be it's own launch site.

    April 14, 2012 at 11:46 am | Reply
    • Brad

      Another person suffering from PDS (Palin Derangement Syndrome). A terrible disease that appears to only touch liberals, in particular liberals who are very impressed by themselves – with no reason to be.

      April 14, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Reply
      • karmichael

        ...How long did it take to put that line together..? If you are impressed with Palin, you are an id$$t

        April 14, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
      • JFK57

        Agree with Kmichael on the Palin thing. Anyone who pays attention to Palin needs their head examined. But I will say that liberals do suck!

        April 15, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
  34. why??

    one more question...where did that "soldier" get that hat? i want to know where not to go buy one.

    April 14, 2012 at 11:44 am | Reply
    • big b

      Salvation army maybe!

      April 16, 2012 at 9:26 am | Reply
  35. matdaniel

    I really don't see any provocation, North Korea has the right to develop the recent technology as any other nation of the world. What I see is that North Korea may become another "competitor" to the USA and sell their acquired technology to others, so this is not about North Korea trying to hit Europe or the US territories with nuclear devices, such is nonsenses, but that all the fuss is about business...

    April 14, 2012 at 11:38 am | Reply
    • wrob

      Provocation is determined by countries who perceive a threat, not by "neutral observers" like you. Don't make the mistake of attributing individual liberties, like the ones you enjoy, to a state.

      April 14, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Reply
    • JoeBoy

      If that is so, why isn't their ally China helping them?

      April 14, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Reply
      • big b

        What makes you think their not helping them, Joe? They want NK as a buffer zone against our forces and will do just enough to keep it that way.

        April 16, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • Giljuko Gwami

      Realistically the US and other countries will do what they believe will benefit them. Juche does NOT benefit people of the world, and it certainly does not benefit the US

      April 16, 2012 at 9:14 am | Reply
  36. why??

    me too...shocked to the deepest part of my person...

    April 14, 2012 at 11:34 am | Reply
  37. why??

    to see if it would work??? (;

    April 14, 2012 at 11:23 am | Reply
  38. Ant

    Why not? lol the media makes it seem as though in America we have no clue about international relations and self interest North Korea is acting as a very rational actor.

    April 14, 2012 at 11:04 am | Reply
  39. palintwit

    Bristol Palin is going to be spitting out bi-racial babies left and right. You watch. Then she'll write a book about it. Then all the idiot teabaggers and evangelicals will buy the book. And then the dancing cow will be dancing all the way to the bank.

    April 14, 2012 at 10:03 am | Reply
    • Yoshinobu Togukawa

      The only thing that applies to your mojoless comment is 母の糞 (Haha no kuso)

      April 14, 2012 at 10:06 am | Reply
      • boke ja nai

        お前はね。ダメ人間です。Learn to understand before you explain. This is serious, not a game. Why is North Korea even an entity? Because of YOUR country's history.

        April 14, 2012 at 11:35 am |
  40. Yoshinobu Togukawa

    Kim`s dojo has no mojo. Rocket no go up, satellite go down in shame. North Korea is country full of iteki.

    April 14, 2012 at 9:57 am | Reply
  41. Ah Sol

    The question "Why did North Korea launch a rocket?" is naive.

    That sort of Stalinist dictatorship runs on people only saying Yes to authority. There was NO ONE that could say no, once even the *suggestion* of a rocket launch was made. For ANYONE to say 'no' at any point would be to deny the power of the DPRK, and there is NO ONE in the country who can do that. Certainly no one with vested interests in the status quo. It is the worst case of mass-delusion in history. The only recognized leaders are dead, and everyone else is a numb automaton genuflecting at their statues, while ratting out anyone that isn't doing it with enough enthusiasm.

    If the DPRK had nothing but a trash can of Ramen noodles sitting on a hand grenade, they would have painted the can in DPRK colors, detonated the grenade, declare the launch successful, then imprison the people they confiscated the trashcan and noodles from. THAT'S how that state works. The show isn't really for the outside world, THE SHOW IS FOR THEMSELVES. It is Government as theatrical form of mass-sado-doministic-masterbation. (Figures the Koreans would be the first to invent that.)

    April 14, 2012 at 8:51 am | Reply
  42. ArmyCSM

    Regardless of success or failure in this case they did not launch a "rocket" like so many of the ignorant media continue to call it. They did launch a ballistic missile that failed. The difference is that a rocket is "free-flight" or "unguided", while a missile has some sort of a guidance system.

    April 14, 2012 at 2:49 am | Reply
    • Tulloch

      Aside from toys, who launches "unguided" rockets? It would seem that every rocket launched by either a government or commercial entity should have a guidance system. Adding a guidance system does not turn a rocket into a ballistic missle.

      April 14, 2012 at 9:43 am | Reply
      • Yoshinobu Togukawa

        You are completely wrong. The definition of ballistic missile is a missile guided in the ascent of a high-arch trajectory and freely falling in the descent. Your dojo has no mojo either?

        April 14, 2012 at 10:00 am |
  43. lewtwo

    They should out source their space program to Russia or China like the US does.

    April 14, 2012 at 2:23 am | Reply
    • Yoshinobu Togukawa

      Much cheaper that way.

      April 14, 2012 at 10:02 am | Reply
  44. emacfadden

    The Taepo DING Dong 2 rocket with loud report! Maybe we can buy a few of these from North Korea and use them for our 4th of July celebration this year!

    April 14, 2012 at 1:42 am | Reply
    • ArmyCSM

      Not a rocket and it wasn't a type II, it was a type III. If you are going to be a smart a$$ at least know what you are talking about.

      April 14, 2012 at 2:51 am | Reply
  45. HumeSaves

    "North Korea is like that retarded kid. No one knows what he's going to do next."

    April 14, 2012 at 12:39 am | Reply
    • F B M

      Such a lovely, humane analogy.

      Inane, too.

      April 14, 2012 at 10:01 am | Reply
      • Yoshinobu Togukawa

        You perhaps should watch Uranus.

        April 14, 2012 at 10:03 am |
      • F B M

        You perhaps should acknowledge Nanking.

        April 14, 2012 at 11:13 am |
  46. Don

    Why did they launch. Same reason some guys put a picture of barbed wire around their biceps. They think it makes them look tough. Wanna be tough, put real barbed wire, not a tattoo of one. Thank you George Carlin.

    April 14, 2012 at 12:02 am | Reply
  47. GWs

    It happened right under your noses and the media didn't pick it up! Put two and two togeather, have you ever heard of the Beoing Yal-1A? That is the main reason that missle broke up in flight.

    April 13, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Reply
    • why??

      u do mean BOEING,...........si?

      April 14, 2012 at 11:41 am | Reply
  48. paul

    the problem with north korea is china, china promotes N.K.into these antics and sits back giggleing to itself while it leads the rest of the world to believe that it is seeking a peacefull solution to the problem by sending little brother kim outside to taunt the world, it is time that the USA and NATO issued china a notice , if little brother try,s his antics again , china will suffer a neucular blast on it,s border, put up or shut up,

    April 13, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Reply
    • yodaOne

      good thing you're not in charge... you might get us all killed.

      April 13, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Reply
      • why??

        he scares meeeeeeeeeeeeeeee...!!

        April 14, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • PT

      lol! You know nothing about China. btw, what is a neucular blast?

      April 14, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Reply
    • DisReverant

      NK is a giant pain in the side to China. This forces it to spend in inordinate amount of time and resources on NK, and detracts from it's main goals (honorable or otherwise). If it weren't for the perceived threat from SK and the US forces there, they would flush NK in a minute. Of course the US and SK won't go anywhere, because of the perceived threat from NK and the Chinese forces behind them, lol.

      April 15, 2012 at 11:40 am | Reply
  49. Odin

    Kim could not get it up–I'm shocked–shocked I tell you

    April 13, 2012 at 9:37 pm | Reply
1 2

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.