by Andrew Walden
A Tokyo-based newspaper reports in its Friday AM edition that North Korea’s failed Taepodong-2 missile was aimed at an area of the ocean close to Hawaii.
Citing multiple sources in the U.S. and Japan, the Sankei Shimbun article indicates that U.S. and Japanese tracking of the missile’s altitude and angle of approach after takeoff indicate it was headed for what Reuters describes as, “waters near Hawaii”. Sankei Shimbun has no English-language edition. The Reuters article reprises the content of the Japanese article.
Wednesday’s North Korean launch was the decrepit Stalinist regime’s first attempt at firing a Taepodong 2 missile. Because it has never been flown before, expert estimates of its range vary with some believing that it can hit Alaska, others believing it can hit the U.S. mainland. Hawaii lies between the two extremes.
According to Reuters, “North Korea may have targeted Hawaii to show the United States that it was capable of landing a missile there, or because it is home to the headquarters of the U.S. Pacific fleet…. “An alternative explanation might be that a missile could accidentally hit land if fired towards Alaska ….”
The waters off Hawaii are currently hosting the annual RIMPAC naval war games. In addition to US forces, the games include Japan, Australia, South Korea, Canada, Britain, Chile, and Peru. Ironically, anti-American war protesters and so-called “environmentalist” lawyers from the mis-named “Natural Resources Defense Council” convinced U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper to block the U.S. Navy from training with use of “active sonar” technologies necessary to detect North Korean and other diesel submarines until July 18. The excuse was the poorly documented claim that whales and other sea mammals are injured by U.S. Navy Active Sonar. Appointed by former President Bill Clinton in 1999, the Canadian-born Cooper is a 1971 graduate of City College San Francisco and a 1975 graduate of the Whittier School of Law.
Hawaii Democrats in 2004 pledged 1/3 of their delegates to support Dennis Kucinich for President of the United States. Hawaii was the only state to give Kucinich significant support. Kucinich and many other leftist Democrats have opposed the development of “star wars” technologies capable of knocking down incoming missiles. The University of Hawaii-Manoa was recently the scene of anti-American protests against military research on campus.
North Korea claims to have constructed several nuclear weapons. There have been no reports that the Taepodong 2 missile or any of the other missiles launched North Korea on Wednesday were armed. The missiles fell into the Sea of Japan a few hundred miles from their launch areas.
Star-Wars derived systems for destroying enemy missiles in flight are developed and tested at Naval Station Barking Sands, host to the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai. Anti-missile systems were deployed on Aegis-based US and Japanese Navy cruisers in the Sea of Japan. There have been no reports that they fired on any of the out going North Korean missiles.
North Korea is reported to have positioned several missiles for additional launches.
http://asia.news.yahoo.com/060707/3/2mty8.html http://www.sankei.co.jp (In Japanese) http://air.fjc.gov/servlet/tGetInfo?jid=2845 http://starbulletin.com/2006/06/26/news/story04.html (RIMPAC 2006) http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060706/NEWS08/607060340/1001 (Barking Sands)