By Jethro Mullen
Undeterred by the embarrassment of a failed rocket launch earlier this year, North Korea appears to be pressing ahead with the development of long-range missiles, according to an analysis of satellite images by a U.S. academic website.
Drawing on commercial satellite imagery, the website 38 North suggests that the reclusive North Korean regime has carried out at least two tests of large rocket motors at the Sohae Satellite Launch Station on the country's west coast since April.
That's the same site from which the nuclear-armed North launched a long-range rocket on April 13 that broke apart shortly after takeoff. Pyongyang said the rocket was supposed to put a satellite in orbit, but the launch was seen by many other countries as cover for a ballistic missile test.
The most recent test of a large rocket motor at Sohae took place in mid-September, according to the analysis posted Monday by 38 North, which is run by the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.FULL STORY
By Larry Shaughnessy
North Korea claims that it has ballistic missiles that can reach the mainland of the United States. If it does, the isolated Asian nation certainly hasn't offered any proof in spite of several attempts.
Even back in 2003, CIA Director George Tenet testified to Congress that the Taepodong-2 missile could hit the U.S. West Coast. But the potential has not translated into technical success.
By Mike Mount, Senior National Security Producer
In what is shaping up to be a classic congressional right vs. left fight over defense and war funding, both the House and Senate are gearing up to battle over some expected and not-so-expected items in the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act.
On Thursday, the Senate Armed Services Committee passed its version of the bill, showing its hand to members of the House of Representatives on what it felt should be authorized for military spending.
The act authorizes spending limits and sets defense policy, but it does not actually appropriate the funds.
The committee version must still pass a full Senate vote. The House signed off on its bill this month. While a date has yet to be announced, both the final House and Senate versions will go through extensive negotiations to hammer out a final version of the legislation, expected in the fall.
Both bills have numerous amendments that will be debated and fought over in the coming months. Keep an eye on these five if you like political fireworks.
The House has approved a $643 billion defense-spending bill for 2013 that’s $3.7 billion more than the Obama Administration, and its Pentagon, is seeking. That’s just about the same amount the Congressional Budget Office estimates the House bill’s push for an East Coast missile shield will cost over the next five years.
As Thompson writes, while the U.S. has already invested billions building such a West Coast system against the threat of a North Korean missile attack, so why shouldn’t we build a mirror system on the other side of the country to protect its denizens from attack by the Iranians: FULL POST