March 24, 2009

Dictator Watch - Mar 24, 2009

Kim Jong Il edition

Dictator Watch for March 24, 2009. According to Brietbart,

North Korea warned the United States, Japan and their allies not to interfere with its plan to launch a satellite into space next month, saying Tuesday any intervention could doom already stalled talks on ending its nuclear weapons program.

North Korea has declared its intention to send a communications satellite into space between April 4 and 8. Regional powers suspect the North will use the launch to test its long-range missile technology, and has warned Pyongyang the launch would trigger international sanctions.

A 2006 U.N. Security Council resolution prohibits North Korea from engaging in ballistic activity, which Washington and its allies say includes firing a long-range missile or using a rocket to send a satellite into space.

On Tuesday, the North's Foreign Ministry reasserted its right to peaceful development of its space program.

"The countries which find fault with (North Korea's) satellite launch including the U.S. and Japan launched satellites before it," said the statement carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency. The stance proves their "their hostility toward us," it said.

Now why would a dictatorial communist regime, intent on keeping it's citizenry in the dark about everything both internally and with respect to the outside world, need to launch a communications satellite? Clearly this is a ballistics test and the cover story could not have been more ill conceived if they were saying they were trying a moon shot.

What's going to prove to be interesting is the reactions of others to the launch. Will Japan, Korea and the United States manage an attempt to shoot down the missile and if so, how will Russia and more so China react? It's probably a moot point. The Obama administration, bent on mending fences that probably should be left untended, will try to let it slip quietly by, hopefully with the aid of a compliant press.

Next stop for the Obama ballistics-for-all road show; Iran.

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