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Friday, April 06, 2012

Breaking: Is North Korea Getting Ready To Launch?

The National Memo
--- Breaking News from NationalMemo.com ---

Nuclear Standoff? Newest Dear Leader Rattles His Rockets, Scaring Everybody

North Korea may have moved the first stage of a rocket to a launch stand, indicating it is on schedule for a controversial mid-April launch, according to a new analysis of satellite images.

The rocket isn't visible at the Tongchang-ri site, but an analysis provided to The Associated Press by the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies says evidence suggests the first stage may be in the launch stand's closed gantry, a support frame, ahead of the launch planned for April 12-16.

That evidence, seen by the institute in satellite photos taken Wednesday, includes an apparent completion of fueling activity, with most of the empty fuel and oxidizer tanks removed from buildings supplying the first stage; a new barricade for vehicles on the road to the pad, indicating higher security; and the removal of objects near the gantry and a clean-up of the launch pad.

"If past launches are any guide, at least the first stage would have to be present at the gantry if the North Koreans are going to keep to the timetable for the scheduled launch," said Joel Wit, visiting fellow at the institute and editor of its website on North Korea, "38 North."

The North Korean launch is meant as a showcase of national power and technology during celebrations of one of the country's most important days -- the centennial of the April 15 birth of national founder Kim Il Sung. North Korea says the rocket will carry a satellite into orbit to study crops and natural resources. Read More
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