Switch to Desktop Site
 
 

North Korea rocket launch: Why Kim failed the test

North Korea's failed rocket launch symbolizes the inefficacy of Pyongyang's economic and political system and the crash of brief hopes that the new Kim regime might lead to rapprochement with South Korea and the United States.

Image

South Koreans look toward North Korea at the Unification Observatory, near the demilitarized zone north of Seoul, April 13. North Korea is likely to stage a military provocation against the South following its failed long-range rocket launch on Friday, a senior South Korean defense ministry official said. Op-ed contributor Denny Roy says 'the rocket launch was not only a technical failure for North Korea, but also a profound failure of political vision.'

Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters

About these ads

What the North Koreans intended as a long-range, three-stage rocket flight sputtered ignominiously when the rocket broke apart and fell into the Yellow Sea less than two minutes after its launch yesterday. The regime in Pyongyang claims the rocket was supposed to place a satellite into orbit to celebrate the 100th birthday of North Korea’s deified former leader Kim Il Sung.

Instead, the failed launch symbolized the inefficacy of North Korea’s economic and political system and the crash of brief hopes that the recent change in the country’s leadership might lead to rapprochement with South Korea and the United States.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) rocket launch also kills the short-lived Feb. 29 agreement in which the US government promised a quarter of a million tons of “nutritional assistance” (foodstuffs not likely to be diverted to the North Korean military) if the North Koreans would temporarily curtail some aspects of their missile and nuclear weapons programs.

Many observers saw this agreement as a test of the possibility that new ruler Kim Jung Un might take a different path than his father: seeking North Korean prosperity and security by trading away the nuclear weapons program in exchange for an improved political relationship and expanded economic cooperation with Pyongyang’s avowed enemies. Mr. Kim failed that test.

Next

Page 1 of 4


Follow Stories Like This
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.

Share

Loading...