The Korean peninsula is going up in fireworks literally, as the recent announcement by North Korea regarding the launching of their own satellite has lit controversies in the world political circles.
Right after 16 days of claiming the much needed food aid in exchange for a shutdown program of nuclear tests and missiles along with U.N. monitoring of the its nuclear bases, North Korea surprised all by claiming to be launching a working satellite by mid-April.
Bone of contention
Kwangmyongsong-3 (Korean for guiding light or Polar Star) refers to the late Kim Jong-il is the earth observation satellite that will be sent into space atop a much improved launch vehicle, the Unha-3.
The historical moment is planned in such a way as to mark the 100th birthday of its late founding leader Kim Il- and the grand father of their current leader Kim-Jong Un in April. Yet the world is suspicious that the launch is a thinly veiled ballistic missile missile test, which comes directly under the recent pledge to US for a moratorium on long-range missile launches
The 'Unha-3' rocket openly expresses its plans to fly over western Japan -- including parts of Okinawa -- after it is launched from a pad on North Korea's west coast, sometime during April 14-16. This has raised serious concerns in Japan about the failed launch, or a falling stage of the rocket, which could endanger Japanese lives or property.
Japan is therefore now preparing for a defensive approach to any kind of obstruction of airspace rules.
"We are considering mobilizing PAC-3 missiles to Okinawa Island, or to Ishigaki or Sakishima islands, to defend our country against any contingencies," Vice Defence Minister Shu Watanabe said Tuesday.
The PAC-3 is an advanced patriot missile.
What happens to N Korea Now?
The launch now threatens to derail a food aid deal the North struck with Washington last month. Also the launch is now being considered as a provocation on the part of the N Korean government.
“Our government defines North Korea’s so-called working satellite launch plan as a grave provocation to develop a long-distance delivery means for nuclear weapons by using ballistic missile technology,” South Korean presidential spokesman Park Jung-ha said in a statement.
The announcement of the launch has also stalled the six-party talks that also include the South, Japan, Russia and China which were to take place this year.