North Korea Gets Provocative
If it were not so serious, it would be tempting to call this article Liveblogging the North Korean missiles. The first report was that North Korea had fired a missile, though - no worries - it was not the dreaded Taepodong long-range missile. Then they fired another, and another. The third missile was the long-range Intercontinental missile, that could theoretically reach the US. As I write this, there have been three more short-range missiles fired. It's not clear that North Korea is done.
The good news? The long-range missile test failed. It fell into the sea. More good news? That may have been the only one ready to test.
The bad news? North Korea is firing missiles. Japan is on high alert.
On June 19th, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said "It would be a very serious matter and indeed a provocative act should North Korea decide to launch that missile." Now that there's been a launch, the word from the administration is that it was a "provocation."
Even more provocative was the timing. Not only was it the Fourth of July, but the first missile went off at about the same time as the Space Shuttle Discovery.
It's unclear what we're being provoked to do. At the moment, it's been phone calls between the other nations. Japan has threatened economic sanctions, a moot point in the US, which has no trade with North Korea, and unlikely to sway a country already willing to starve its people.