Monday, April 6, 2009

North Korea's Missile Launch

North Korea launched a ballistic missile on Saturday. For the past two days there has been debate about whether the launch was "successful":
Washington and Seoul said the North Korean rocket failed to thrust a satellite into orbit. But on Monday, seeking to garner political gain from the test, the North Korean media praised Kim Jong-il’s leadership, insisting that a communications satellite was circling the Earth, broadcasting patriotic songs.

The UN Security Council convened an emergency meeting to consider its response. Today's NYT has this report about the outcome:
At the Security Council on Sunday, the United States and its main allies — Japan, France and Britain —pushed for a resolution denouncing the test as a violation of the 2006 sanctions, which demanded that North Korea suspend any activity related to the launching of ballistic missiles ... China left its position ambiguous, although diplomats said that at the initial meeting it stressed that the North Koreans had a right like any other country to launch satellites.
187. What does it mean for a missile to reach space? Does that mean it leaves the atmosphere? Did I learn this in high school science and, if so, which class – it doesn’t seem like it would have been biology or chemistry – maybe physics?

188. Is Kim Jong-il appearing in public at all nowadays?

189. An article I posted about a couple of weeks ago said that North Korea exports a large amount of weapons. What are South Korea's primary exports?

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