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AP: Japanese Broadcaster NHK says North Korea has test-launched a missile.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Il
North Korea launched the missile at 0332 Japan Time and it crashed into the Sea of Japan several minutes later, public broadcaster NHK reported.
NHK said Japanese government officials were trying to determine whether the missile was a long-range ballistic missile that had been readied for launch recently, or whether it was a different missile.
North Korea had been believed to be preparing a test launch of its Taepodong 2 missile, which is believed able to reach parts of the United States.
Officials were not immediately available to confirm the report.
Update 16:43 EDT:
AP is reporting that Kyodo News Agency reports North Korea test-launches two mid-range missiles into the Sea of Japan. A Pentagon official said they were Scud missiles and not the the longer-range variety that has been the focus of international concern.
Update 16:53 EDT:
North Korea test-launched two missiles Wednesday that landed in the Sea of Japan, but a
Pentagon official said they were Scud missiles and not the longer-range variety that has been the focus of international concern.
Japan’s Kyodo news agency said they were believed to be mid-range Rodong missiles.
The reclusive communist state launched the first missile at 3:32 a.m., or 2:32 p.m. Tuesday EDT, and it crashed into the Sea of Japan several minutes later, public broadcaster NHK reported. Kyodo carried a similar report and quoted a government official as saying a second missile had also been fired.
A Pentagon official, who spoke only on condition of anonymity, said there were launches of two Scud missiles.
“The launch appears not to be the launch that has been in the news. This appears to be a launch of a lesser variety of scud missiles,” the official said.
Han Song Ryol, deputy chief of North Korea’s mission to the U.N. in New York, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview: “We diplomats do not know what the military is doing.”
So, Flap asks, what about the long-range Taepodong 2 missile. Is this a shot across the bow of the United States on America’s birthday?
Update 17:02 EDT
In Washington, a Pentagon official said North Korea appeared to have launched two Scud-type missiles and not long-range missiles that the United States had been monitoring.
U.S. sources said North Korea had launched a third, long-range missile but that it had failed in flight.
Update 17:13 EDT
AP: Kyodo reports that North Korea has test-launched four mid-range missiles into the Sea of Japan.
Update 17:22 EDT
AP: However, the State Department official said North Korea appeared ready to launch the long-range Taepodong-2 missile. The official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, did not confirm that the Taepodong-2 had been launched. Experts believe a Taepodong 2 could reach the United States with a light payload.
Update 17:26 EDT
Reuters is reporting that the Taepodong-2 missile has been fired by North Korea but has failed.
North Korea launched a long-range Taepodong-2 missile and two small Scud-type missiles within a two-hour period, but the long-range missile appears to have failed, a diplomatic source told Reuters on Tuesday.
CNN also reported that a Taepodong had been fired.
The Taepodong 2 missile, which had been under intense scrutiny by the United States and other western powers, appeared to have failed in flight, the diplomatic source said.
AP is reporting that the Japanese government is confirming that three missiles have been test-launched by North Korea into the Sea of Japan.
Update 17:33 EDT
AP reports the United States State Department officials say North Korea launched its long-range missile, but it failed 35 seconds after lifting off.
Update 17:45 EDT
AP reports that Japan said it “sternly protests” North Korean missile test-launches.
“North Korea has gone ahead with the launch despite international protest,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe said. “That is regrettable from the standpoint of Japan’s security, the stability of international society, and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.”
The Question: Where was the Taepodong 2 missile going?
Second Question: Where the other two missiles used as counter measures against American Aegis Sea based missile defenses?
CNN has reported the United Nations Security Council may convene tonight.
Update 18:28 EDT
CNN is reporting U.S. government officials report that the Taepodong 2 missile was launched at 4:02 EDT and failed in flight after about 42 seconds in flight.
Senior Administration officials in the White House say there is no immediate threat to the United States but this is a “PROVOCATION.”
Update 18:34 EDT
CNN is reporting that NORAD reports a fourth North Korean short-range missile having been launched within the last fifteen minutes.
AP reports the United States Ambassador to Japan says the North Korea’s missile launches are a “provocative act.”
Update 18:55 EDT
CNN: Senior Administration officials at the White House confirm there were six missile tests:
#4 Short-Range Scud
#5 A second long-range Taepodong 2 missile
#6 Another short-range missile
Analysts at CNN are speculating that North Korea is testing a warhead.
Update 20:27 EDT
AP: Yahoo News agency cites government officials as saying North Korea tested ten (10) missiles in all.
Bush sees the missile firing as “defiance” of the international community by North Korea,” a senior U.S. administration official said. “This is further indication of the isolation of North Korea.”
U.S. National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley called the launches “provocative behavior,” but said they were not a threat to U.S. territory.
“We are urgently consulting with other delegations of Security Council on the situation,” the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, said in a statement.
CNN’s Larry King is currently hosting a round-table discussion on North Korea. In a lack of class former Secretary of State called in and in a short statement related that the Bush administration’s foreign policy is a failure and generally moaned about the Bush Administration.
What a lack of class!
Now Albright is on Fox News.
Here is Albright’s idea of dealing with Kim Jong-Il:
Update 21:33 EDTÂ
Fox News is now reporting that there will be a meeting of the United Nations Security Council tomorrow morning.
When MORE information is available Flap will update this report.