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     Mar 22, 2012

North Korea launches satellite of love
By Kim Myong Chol

To mark the the 100th anniversary of founding father Kim Il-sung's birth, the Kim Jong-eun administration has scheduled the spectacular launch of an earth observation satellite that will present the world with a spatial chorus of The Song of Marshal Kim Il-sung and Happy Birthday to You.

The Korean Committee for Space Technology announced on March 16 that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North

Korea) will send Kwangmyongsong-3, a polar-orbiting satellite, into space atop a much improved launch vehicle, the Unha-3. The launch date will fall between April 12-16, with the southerly direction of the launch from the Sohae (West Sea) Launching Station in Cholsan County, North Phyongan, in sharp contrast with easterly direction of two previous satellite launches.

As an official noted in state media: "A safe flight orbit has been chosen so that carrier rocket debris to be generated during the flight would not have any impact on neighboring countries."

The satellite launch is peaceful in every respect, and indisputably nothing to do with a missile test. It is a legitimate exercise by the DPRK of its inalienable sovereign right to peaceful exploration of outer use, universally shared by every member of the world community, including the US, China, Russia, Japan and France. No country, be it the US, Japan, South Korea, or any other Western nation, has any right to take issue with the satellite launch.

The world's youngest but most sophisticated statesman, Kim Jong-eun, has ordered the Korean Committee for Space Technology to invite a bevy of experienced foreign experts on space science and technology and journalists to observe the satellite liftoff at the country's ultra-modern satellite launch center.

There are two reasons for Kim Jong-eun's decision: One is to provide the promised maximum transparency for the launch and the other is to add to the festive nature of the celebratory event. Obviously, there is nothing to conceal about the peaceful satellite launch, which is anything but a long-range ballistic missile.

For the Korean people, Kim Il-sung was a sun-like figure and will remain so forever as Koreans believe they are the offspring of the sun. Astronomy and star-watching are part and parcel of a time-honored Korean tradition dating back to the ancient Korean kingdom of Koguryo.

Kwangmyongsong (Korean for guiding light or Polar Star) refers to the late Kim Jong-il. The name was given by the members of the anti-Japanese guerrilla army when he was born at a secret camp on snow-covered Mt Paekdu, expressing their desire that he would grow into a Korean "King David".

Unha is the Korean word for the Milky Way, but also refers to present Supreme Leader Kim Jong-eun as a heaven-sent statesman set to lead the ancestral Land of Morning Calm to millennium prosperity.

Pavlov's Dog-like response will spark nuclear test
The reaction of Washington, Tokyo and Seoul to the planned satellite launch could be called a Pavlov's dog-like conditioned response, or at best as that of a deer in the headlights.

Since the Americans took a non-hostile stance towards North Korea in the February 29 DPRK-US nuclear agreement, the first thing they should do in response to the announced satellite liftoff is to think twice and readily extend a gentleman-like warm congratulations to the North Koreans, as well as state their readiness to launch a satellite for a rendezvous flight in outer space.

They might have at least said, "You resilient and patriotic North Koreans deserve unreserved praise for being sticking with Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-il and now with Kim Jong-eun. You have proved resourceful enough to build a carrier rocket and satellite, undeterred by our hostile policy and stringent sanction. Not to put too fine a point on it, we feel jealous of Kim Jong-eun."

Any US threat to invalidate the nuclear deal would only serve to make the Barack Obama administration look like a cranky dodo. It will also prompt the Kim Jong-eun administration to retract its promise to place a moratorium on nuclear and missile tests, suspend uranium enrichment, and give international inspectors access to the uranium enrichment plant.

The hostile response from Washington, Seoul and Tokyo to the launch comes across to the North Koreans as a vicious bid to spoil their the most important and sacred festival of the proud Korean nation and to weaken their monolithic cohesion and unity around the new administration of Kim Jong-eun.

The North Korean reaction will be prompt, involving additional nuclear tests and steps to consider a full-blast detonation of a thermonuclear device possibly in international waters near the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans or in outer space far above the metropolitan US. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) officials will not be allowed into North Korea any longer. Uranium enrichment will be resumed and expanded.

However, the last thing the Kim Jong-eun administration wants to see is the "leap-day" DPRK-US nuclear deal imperiled.

The polar-orbiting observation satellite, blasted into space in the presence of veteran foreign experts, will beam three messages far and wide while passing over all the points of the earth as a bright beacon.

Message One: Emergence as an economic power
Polar-orbiting Kwangmyongsong-3 will proudly herald and highlight North Korea as a new Asian economic tiger and a new member of the elite club of economic powers.

This event and the expected completion of a small light-water reactor can be defined as nothing short of a miracle, given the more than half-century of naked animosity with the US and the latter's criminalizing sanctions, which all have turned out to be counter-productive.

North Korea is a long-time member of the two other elite clubs of space and nuclear powers, and both the satellite and the heavy-lift carrier rocket were indigenously designed and assembled with engines and components built by domestically built complex multi-spindle machine tools.

Despite its much-ballyhooed economic success, South Korea is no closer to building its own satellite launch vehicles. They have failed miserably in launching satellites even with the use of imported carrier rockets from Russia. Most South Korean industrial products, such as nuclear reactors and TVs, are dependent on licensed foreign technology and imported components.

North Korea is one of the few industrial countries that can domestically produce supercomputers, hand-held PCs, flat TVs, smartphones, artillery pieces, tanks, all types of nuclear warheads, rocket engines and a full array of radars, portable light-water-reactors, all sets of sophisticated equipment for industrial plants, elevators, escalators and a wide range of musical instruments such as pianos, violins, accordions ∓632,2,720,21table cellSpacing= src= and medical instruments for cardiac surgery.

A few more successful satellite liftoffs will enable the North Koreans to use its powerful Unha carrier rockets to launch low-cost satellite launch services available to any interested client in the developing and the Western world.

North Korea will be ready to export low-cost small and portable light-water reactors, too, complete with a LEU plant to any interested country.

Message Two: Neutralization of the US is in sight
Regardless of US beh ID= width= width=nbsp;avior, negative or affirmative, a successful satellite launch will go a long way towards neutralizing the US military presence in South Korea, which is the overriding obstacle to the negotiated coming together of North and South Korea under a bi-system reunification framework.

A successful satellite launch and subsequent US cancellation of the leap-day DPRK-US nuclear agreement will result in additional known nuclear and long-range missile testings and expansion of uranium enrichment operations by North Korea.

Soon the Americans will seriously consider asking to leave the Korean Peninsula on their own accord in an honorable manner and negotiate a peace treaty with the North Koreans with a mutual detargeting provision.

It will not be long before the US is convinced that North Korea has working nuclear devices and road-mobile, long-range means of delivery - and that they are not bluffing when they threaten to vaporize US cities.

Andrei Lankov of Kookmin University, Seoul, and Adjunct Research Fellow at the Australian National University, writes in his March 15 posting at the East Asia forum:
Right now such a deal is unacceptable to the American side though, as it looks like rewarding blackmail. Such a compromise would create a dangerous precedent: a rogue state will not only be allowed to flout international law with impunity; it will be rewarded too. But diplomats seldom face a choice between acceptable and unacceptable deals. More often than not, they have to choose between several unsavory, not to say morally dubious, options - and the North Korean program will continue apace if nothing is done. This will mean more nuclear devices of higher quality, the development of workable delivery systems and perhaps even a fully functioning uranium-production capability - not to mention the possibility of proliferation.

So, one might expect that sooner or later the US side will seriously consider the unconsiderable and start negotiating nuclear arms limitations, rather than nuclear arms disarmament. But this will take time - and perhaps a couple more nuclear tests, missile launches and some revelations about proliferation activity in the Middle East.
The Americans will relent as North Korea presents a convincingly strong case for their legitimate sovereign right to peaceful exploitation of outer space. A net result will be the withdrawal of US-initiated United Nations sanctions and US negotiations on a peace treaty and normalized bilateral relations between the two long-term adversaries.

Kim Jong-eun is on track to neutralizing and terminating the US military presence in South Korea, removing the foremost barrier to the territorial reintegration of the ancestral Land of Morning Calm.

Message Three: Beacon of reunification
In its third message, Kwangmyongsong-3 will serve as a beacon announcing to the South Korean people and the rest of the world that Kim Jong-eun has seized the initiative in paving the honorable exit for the US forces from the Korean Peninsula and come within striking distance of having North and South Korea reunited under a bi-system formula in a peaceful fashion.

The bi-system reunification involves Pyongyang and Seoul retaining their respective socio-political and economic systems and conceding national defense and diplomacy to a federal government.

The Kim Jong-eun administration is ready to join hands with anyone who upholds the two historic documents and work for a negotiated territorial reintegration of the ancestral land. Commitment to the two landmark declarations is a safe guarantee of long-term prosperity of the Land of Morning Calm.

Any hard-line attempt to confront the North Korean administration is lost labor. To expect that North Korea will fall apart under heavy international pressure is like an attempt to lasso twinkling stars.

There will be little doubt left in the eye of the South Korean people that Kim Jong-eun has what it takes be another super-Kim Il Sung, as the world's youngest national leader is about to complete a challenge of Sisyphean proportions in a creditable way, taming for once and for all the American military presence.

Kim Jong-eun, Kim Jong-il and Kim il-Sung resoundingly outwitted the three US administrations of Bill Clinton, George W Bush and Barack Obama. This gave the North a much-needed pretext to cross into a zone of immunity. Through diplomatic outmaneuvering, North Korea gained a total of 20 years, more than enough to wade through an economic shambles, build affluence and develop and test thermonuclear weapons and their intercontinental means of delivery

As Leonid Petrov, lecturer in Korean studies at the University of Sydney, said to the Guardian on March 16, Kim Jong-eun is achieving two goals with the satellite launch:

"They are trying to kill two birds with one stone - keeping North Koreans proud and elated while the US has no particular reason to protest since inspectors are going to be admitted to nuclear facilities [under the recent deal]."

Kim Myong Chol is author of a number of books and papers in Korean, Japanese and English on North Korea, including Kim Jong-il's Strategy for Reunification. He has a PhD from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's Academy of Social Sciences and is often called an "unofficial" spokesman of Kim Jong-il and North Korea.

(Copyright 2012 Kim Myong Chol.) 

Pie in the sky, Pyongyang style
Mar 20, '12



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