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Government The Military United States Politics

N. Korea Launches Ballistic Missile 123

The BBC reports that North Korea's military today launched a ballistic missile from that country's east coast; the missile fell into the water after a flight of about 500 miles. Reuters adds some more details, and names a different launching point. From their report: South Korea's Yonhap news agency said the missile was likely a medium-range Rodong-missile. ... The missile was launched from an area near the west coast north of the capital, Pyongyang, flying across the [peninsula] and into the sea off the east coast early Friday morning, the South's Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement. CNN adds a sobering graphic indicating the projected range of North Korea's missile arsenal.
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N. Korea Launches Ballistic Missile

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  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Thursday March 17, 2016 @08:06PM (#51719141)

    The missile was launched from an area near the west coast north of the capital, Pyongyang, flying across the peninsular and into the sea off the east coast early Friday morning.

    It would be funny if we later found out that wasn't the intended flight plan.

    • by PolygamousRanchKid ( 1290638 ) on Thursday March 17, 2016 @08:35PM (#51719293)

      It would be funny if we later found out that wasn't the intended flight plan.

      I'm guessing that the intended flight plan is about detailed as those of my bottle rockets on New Year's Eve. Stick it in the bottle. Light the fuse. Hope that it will land somewhere that will scare the Japanese.

      When North Korea starts placing nukes on these missiles, with no idea where they will land . . . well, that's time to upgrade your tinfoil hat to a lead hat.

      • Given that this is a missile capable of hitting nearly anywhere in about 50% of the world, I highly doubt that it's low-tech enough that they don't know which direction it's going to go in.

        • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Thursday March 17, 2016 @09:18PM (#51719475) Journal

          > Given that this is a missile capable of hitting nearly anywhere in about 50% of the world,

          It says 500 miles for this launch, and it's believed they can go a bit further, maybe 800 miles.

          Last I checked, the earth is roughly about 24,000 miles around. Ballistic missiles, unlike cruise missiles, also can't hit just anywhere within their max range. If max range is 800 miles, minimum might be 400 miles.

          • by Blaskowicz ( 634489 ) on Thursday March 17, 2016 @11:22PM (#51719965)

            As everyone who played Dune 2 knows, you can send a single infantry guy against a mobile rocket launcher and the rocket launcher vehicle will hopelessly fire rockets than land damn anywhere at their minimum range ; meanwhile the infantry guy slowly fires bullet after bullet until the vehicle is set on fire. It's dangerous still : the enemy supreme commander may order the rocket vehicle to move a bit, which crushes the infantry guy.

            • by Pseudonym ( 62607 ) on Thursday March 17, 2016 @11:29PM (#51719995)

              As everyone who played Dune 2 knows, [...]

              President Trump is going to need a defense secretary. Mind if we put your name forward?

              • by Anonymous Coward

                President Trump is going to need a defense secretary.

                That's God Emperor Trump to you, heretic.

                • by Anonymous Coward

                  God Emperor Trump

                  So, I googled "God Emperor Trump" [google.com] and laughed. Then I became afraid, very afraid.,

                  • Those are some great pictures.

                    I think it is funny to see the Democratic supporters going crazy over Trump, the same people who thought Obama was the second coming.

            • by KGIII ( 973947 )

              In the real world, the installation or vehicle has infantry assets to protect it from ground attacks. They do not just send out rocket launchers without protection - even if they're behind the lines. Even the artillery of today, even the US' artillery that runs and guns from behind the lines, has protection from local attacks to-hand just to prevent just such a thing. Tanks will even often have an attachment of infantry to keep them protected, though that's marginally less of a problem than it traditionally

      • This also makes the CNN range plot pretty nonsensical. Firstly, the chance of any North Korean missile making it anywhere near a fraction of that distance is pretty close to zero. Secondly, the throw weight of their missiles is pathetic, so even if they could manage to get their Golfball of Doom to the projected distance, you run into the third problem which you've already pointed out, guidance is essentially "we want it over there somewhere".

        So if you're North Korean and you want to drop a Golfball of Do

        • by delt0r ( 999393 )
          One reason ICBMs worked was because with nuke you don't need to be very accurate. Fortunately so far they have failed in making said nuke. But is 2016, it is a lot easier to make a nuke than in '45. Over all there is no reason to think they can't do it. Probably. Eventually. Also the low end small n. bomb is probably around 10-30kgs depending how you slice it.
          • That's for a country like the US or USSR/Russia. The North Koreans are still working with close to 1945 technology, and given how impoverished they are there's no sign they'll get better any time soon. So you're looking at huge, heavy physics packages that need to be lofted using souped-up V2s that aren't anywhere near capable of it, the only thing that they've got any hope of getting right is the guidance via GPS' they've bought off Aliexpress, and even then I can't imagine them getting terminal guidance
            • by delt0r ( 999393 )
              This is just not true. Sure the peasant working in the farm may not have access to the modern trappings of technology and development. But you bet your arse the nuclear bomb department has it all. They will have all the microprocessors and accelerometers and gyros they want. After all if you can get uranium, getting the other stuff is just not going to be difficult.
  • Look, it's not 1953 any more. If they actually pull out of the cease-fire, Seoul will be destroyed in a matter of minutes. If they start a war by lobbing nukes at the US, North Korea will be reduced to a sheet of glass in a matter of days, and damn the nuclear winter.

    • >>>reduced to a sheet of glass in a matter of days, and damn the nuclear winter.

      Nice word play, Etherwalk.

    • by lgw ( 121541 )

      Still, better to shoot down the missile in flight. How did it become an Accepted Truth of the left that missile defense was a bad thing? Because Reagan first proposed it? I'll take a system with a 50% chance of working (as does any cop wearing a bullet-"proof" vest). Hell, I'll take a system with a 20% chance of working over nothing, if it can be improved over time.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by meglon ( 1001833 )
        Because idiots keep saying every penny we spend on the military is a good thing, even when it's trillions of dollars wasted for shit. The "lefts" tolerance for idiots, and lies, is slightly less than the gullible cowards of the "right."

        http://www.latimes.com/nation/... [latimes.com]

        Hell, I'll take a system with a 20% chance of working over nothing, if it can be improved over time.

        From the article:

        Despite years of tinkering and vows to fix technical shortcomings, the system's performance has gotten worse, not better, since testing began in 1999. Of the eight tests held since GMD became operational in 2004, five have been failures.

        So the difference is... people on the right want to piss away large amounts of money on useless things to help them from being scared of their own shadow, while people on the left want something that actually works. Mu

        • by lgw ( 121541 )

          So maybe that particular program sucks. Sounds like we need to get it right, not abandon the concept. As far as the money we spend on defense, you do realize we spend less than either Medicare or Social Security, right?

          I think some believe that no time ever again in our entire future will anyone ever launch a ballistic missile at us. Wishing doesn't make it so. (and our days as the sole hyperpower have already passed).

          • Re:Oops... (Score:4, Insightful)

            by meglon ( 1001833 ) on Thursday March 17, 2016 @10:11PM (#51719719)
            Straight defense spending is about the same as social security being the program WITH A DEDICATED TAX THAT FUNDS IT PAID FOR BY WORKERS. Medicare also has THAT DEDICATED TAX SYSTEM. That defense spending is just what's in the defense budget, and doesn't include veterans, the nuclear arsenal, and interest on the debt made up of past military/war expenditures. All told, our "defense" spending purely on military oriented items is ~1 trillion a year.

            BUT, here's the difference. social security are DEDICATED taxes. They are paid for by a tax that is collected ONLY because SS and Medicare exist. And i'll be honest, i think providing 40 million elderly a fixed income WHICH THEY PAID FOR WITH A DEDICATED TAX, and 65 million elderly and disabled medical services WHICH THEY PAID FOR WITH A DEDICATED TAX, to be a hell of a lot better use of money than giving billions to companies that produce weapons systems THAT DO NOT WORK.

            I do think "idiot" is a good term for anyone who would rather piss away money on something THAT DOES NOT WORK rather than helping tens of millions of people with something that does, especially when THEY PAID FOR IT WITH A DEDICATED TAX.

            So we're again back to, it takes a special kind of coward to waste money on FAILED military programs just to keep them from being scared of their shadow.
            • by Anonymous Coward

              You might want to get that shift key fixed, dude. It's pretty annoying.

              And can the tiresome preachy angst.

            • i think providing 40 million elderly a fixed income WHICH THEY PAID FOR WITH A DEDICATED TAX

              You might want to consider learning about transfer entitlement taxes and spending before you go on another of your phony, pedantic, condescending lectures aimed at other people whose priorities are different than yours.

              Nobody paid for the Social Security money they later collects. Other people do. When you're working and being taxed for SS, that money is being transferred that year to recipients of that program's entitlements. As defined by congress for that year. It's not going "into your account" or a

              • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

                by meglon ( 1001833 )
                Yes, it's called "basic accounting." I do realize there's a lot of people who know nothing about "basic accounting" or even "bookkeeping," but i can't help it if they would prefer to remain ignorant.

                There is a specific, dedicated, social security tax. That tax money goes into a pooled account which is later used to pay out when people qualify. It ain't rocket science. There's nothing misleading about the language i use; people are not as stupid as you think. And my post wasn't to be condescending, it
                • by euroq ( 1818100 )

                  +1

                  The OP is implicitly arguing that the money should be put in a bottle for 30 years and then taken out and given to the person that put it in. That's not the way it works and that's not the way it should work.

                • There is a specific, dedicated, social security tax. That tax money goes into a pooled account which is later used to pay out when people qualify.

                  Except it doesn't really go into any traditional sort of "account". That pooled account doesn't represent actual money. It represents an *obligation*. That "specific, dedicated, social security tax" is, instead, used to fund a whole host of other things the federal government wants. And in turn they've promised to repay as needed. Which means additional taxes on top of that "dedicated" tax.

                  Basic accounting. Hardly. Imagine if a bank were allowed to loan itself money and then call it an investment - and coun

                • Yes, there is a dedicated, specific tax. And it is used to fund the CURRENT transfers to recipients. You DO NOT HAVE an "account" in to which anything has been deposited for your later use. Trying to convey that to people is you being either spectacularly ignorant or (much more likely) deliberately disingenuous. Deceitful. Essentially, you are lying and you know it (or should).
                  • I did not misunderstand his discussions about "accounts". I did not read any posts with people misunderstanding. Your repeated insistence about it seems to have the hallmarks of a strawman argument. Then you both went ad-hominem and it got boring.

                    • I did not read any posts with people misunderstanding

                      What? How can a phrase like "providing 40 million elderly a fixed income WHICH THEY PAID FOR WITH A DEDICATED TAX" represent anything other than a pure misunderstanding or deliberate misrepresentation? A given elderly person, if they're receiving SS entitlements, are getting money that is being taxed from people who are currently working. The money the elderly person is receiving is NOT money that they paid in taxes back when they. The SS taxes they themselves paid were used to fund SS recipients at the t

                    • Yep. That's the way it works. Interestingly, it continues to work. Probably something to do with "continual adjustment by the legislature". Every few years one party or another makes it an election issue. Then it goes away for awhile, then we get news of adjustments that'll make it solvent for a while longer.

                      My opinion is that there's a lot *not* to like the way it is done. And how the money is handled, etc. But the sky is not falling, irregardless the FUD dealers that have convinced many in the younger gen

                    • replied to my post instead of yours. sry

            • Social Security is a dedicated tax, but the money goes into a general fund and even the government has no idea exactly how much of it is really SS... Much less how they are going to take care of the baby boomers.

              What I don't understand is the shortsightedness in defense spending. Yes, some things don't work. The F-35 is a shining example of that, though it is now showing promise after going over budget and schedule. That is part of R&D, and part of DARPAs mission. Develop new technologies to solve ad
            • you MIGHT WANT TO CONSIDER typing like a normal person so people don't think YOU'RE A FUCKING MANIAC but screaming EVERY OTHER PHRASE
        • BMD is a very fucking hard problem. You've got objects that are moving at hypersonic speeds, if you don't catch them during the initial boost. It's like trying to shoot a .50 bullet out of air with a .22. And the best thing about it is even if you can solve it the other side can simply shoot more "bullets" then you have guns to shoot them down.

          This is also the reason I think trying to use hyper-sonic missiles against moving targets (such as ships) is such a joke. The missile is moving so fast it can't reall

          • I've seen claims between 30% and 95% effectiveness for the US missile defense network. Even given a cost of 39 billion dollars and a 30% effectiveness ratio, it is still cheaper to have the defense network than to not have it.
            • by delt0r ( 999393 )
              They have simply not tested this enough to give these kind of figures. Also you really can't hide these sort of tests from the public. So it is doubtful it is based on "secret tests"
          • by delt0r ( 999393 )
            The analogy with shooting a .50cal bullet out of the air with a .22 would only be correct if the .22 bullets were made out of some nano particle magic Pt and cost a Million per shot. Then you get an idea of the cost asymmetry. It is *always* far cheaper for the attacker than the defender. This is not a new idea. MAD was the result of this number crunching at the dawn of the nuclear age.
        • So the difference is... people on the right want to piss away large amounts of money on useless things to help them from being scared of their own shadow, while people on the left want something that actually works. Must be hell going through life as a coward.

          Yea, thats right ... pretend that its a left vs right thing and that your side is right ... thats helpful.

          When you break down your argument to 'left' vs 'right', you've already lost and are just too stupid to realize it.

          • by delt0r ( 999393 )
            And slightly worse. Democrat vs Republican (no it is not quite the same as left vrs right). Many Americans seem to think there is exactly 2 side and only 2 side to every single issue or problem in the world combined.
      • by jpapon ( 1877296 )
        Nobody wants to start another nuclear arms race, that's why. With nobody having any real missile defense, the major powers are on a relatively equal footing - MAD.

        Developing missile defense technology would *increase* the chance of nuclear war, since someone might think they have a temporary advantage, or worse, think they're going to soon be at a disadvantage.

      • I think it was the cost compared to the benefit IF the technology was there and there was no guarantee it was (or would be). I am on the left and I'm not against the idea per se, I just have to be convinced it's both feasible and effective.
        • by lgw ( 121541 )

          Oh, I agree there. I think there's too much tolerance for boondoggles, and too little "figure out how to do it cost-effectively, and we'll buy a bunch of it". It sure seems like an easier problem than a self-driving car, especially for ballistic targets, if we don't insist on perfect detection before starting. The Navy has solved this problem fairly well vs anti-ship missiles.

    • destroyed with what? The nuclear devices they've tested can't be put on missile. This is good time to preemptively strike NK, would be very wise move

      • destroyed with what? The nuclear devices they've tested can't be put on missile. This is good time to preemptively strike NK, would be very wise move

        Conventional arms. North Korea has more than enough conventional arms aimed at Seoul to level the city.

        • nah, that's N. Korea "negotiator" blow-hard talk, turning Seoul into "sea of fire". except reality would be very different, and N. K. on the fag end of the deal and they know it

          • Unfortunately, Seoul is within reach of conventional artillery. So it can be reduced to rubble within minutes without a single plane. It is roughly 20 miles away from the closest NK's border point. Katyusha's max range is 25miles. Modern artillery can reach much further. Pyongyang is ~75miles from the border with South Korea. But that doesn't really matter. If South Korea were destroyed, US would almost certainly carpet bomb the North because it now has a reason to fear it enough to justify a preempt
            • you don't know much about artillery warfare, do you.

              reality would be artillery batteries very quickly destroyed

              • Only if they are destroyed pre-emptively. Massive battery shelling with explosive charges against high-density targets would reduce the city to rubble within half hour. Even if a counter strike took them out within 10 minutes, the mount Seoul which would be destroyed would make it unlivable. High-density city are very interdependent. Think about how much damage destruction of two sky scrapers did in NYC. It caused massive outages of civilian services in the surrounding areas (electric, internet, etc.)
                • Ridiculous. Seoul is 230+ square miles.

                  • How much are downtown + key infrastructure points (electric plants, sewage treatment, water purification)?
                    • portable versions of those exist for anything lost in the fraction of an hour before the N.K. artillery batties are annihilated. the USN will deliver any that S. Korea itself is lacking. Also large ships themselves can even help. On related note, let Jong Un bomb or shell one of Uncle Sam's big boats that is helping and see what he gets

                    • North Korea would enter the fight with the full knowledge that they would lose. It would be a MAD (mutually assured destruction) fight. They would be reaching for the largest body count they can reach before having their military completely disabled. They are posing this threat because they believe the survival of the regime is at stake. So threat is that if the regime is destabilized by any means (military or not), they will cause havoc while going down. It would be all the logic of a suicide bomber l
    • Re:Oops... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Crashmarik ( 635988 ) on Thursday March 17, 2016 @08:52PM (#51719389)

      Theater Missile Defense

      http://www.britannica.com/topi... [britannica.com]

      Your thing of the day.

      Remember THAAD is your friend

      http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/04/... [cnn.com]

      If you would like bonus points, remember all the people who were taking a crap on president Reagan because they said this was pointless.

    • At least the nuclear winter will put an end to global warming!
    • by Duhavid ( 677874 )

      China is right next to NK. I do not believe that we believe that China would not be concerned or that China would not retaliate in kind. Add in that Russia might join in, sensing an opportunity to be rid of an opponent. No, there would be no nuclear option, at least not to start.

      MacArthur did not believe the Chinese would get involved in the Korean "police action" when UN forces were getting close to the Chinese border, but they sure did. It would be Ground Forces and Conventional Air action. Possibly

  • If nk preempts the Chinese won't do a damn thing. Other countries won't preempt due to having no reason to.

  • 800km vs 9000km (Score:4, Informative)

    by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Thursday March 17, 2016 @08:10PM (#51719163) Journal

    800km is a pretty far cry from the 9000km range on the graphic. And scaling up isn't all that easy to do, much less include a payload of significant mass.

    • that's for the longer range missiles that have to date spectacularly failed for various reasons. So yes it's laughable until N. Korea works out the bugs in the Taipodong-2

      • by meglon ( 1001833 )
        There's 4 things a successful strike needs... a launch, flight, targeting, and detonation. We've seen they can launch, they're so-so at best on flight, their targeting is so bad about the only thing they can hit at the moment is the ocean (and usually no where near where they wanted). Detonation... well, i suppose it depends on if those nuclear bomb tests that ended up not being nuclear were actually supposed to be or not. Either way, they can complete the easiest step, and it goes downhill fast for the
        • by Anonymous Coward

          We went into Iraq on far less...

        • They have no problem generating nuclear blasts. What they claim they have done, but have not been able to do is fusion blasts, or hydrogen bombs (same thing, different name).

  • said his NK had mini-me nukes. maybe the payload would fly that far.
    • NK claimed to have nukes small enough to fit on a missile. That is not mini-me nukes, that's volkswagon bug sized nukes. A modern nuclear weapon is pretty good sized, even though they are relatively compact they are not light weight.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I must be missing something. Iraq got invaded for far less, and it was later shown they didn't actually have shit.

    What is Kim thinking? He just showed he has a slingshot to a bunch of older and more experienced guys that have guns. He's trying to appear dangerous and crazy, and he's only succeeding at the latter. He can't really think he will last longer than a few hours if he makes one wrong move - shit, I bet China would take him out first if he gets much more uppity. They don't want some dumb retard

    • I must be missing something. Iraq got invaded for far less, and it was later shown they didn't actually have shit.

      That's precisely the reason they are developing weapons. Dubya's "War to Avenge Daddy" showed dictators that if they cooperate and disarm, then they are going to end up like Saddam did, dead. Of the "axis of evil" countries, Iraq had by far the weakest military and the fewest weapons, and guess which one got invaded? The man child has fucked up the world for generations to come, and any di
    • by Xest ( 935314 ) on Friday March 18, 2016 @07:33AM (#51721395)

      The West wont touch NK because of China, China doesn't want to deal with NK because it doesn't want to deal with millions of desperate migrants out of NK, nor does it want a likely Western oriented nation (United Korea) directly on it's doorstep.

      The calculus will change if and when North Korea becomes a bigger problem to have on your doorstep than a Western friendly nation would and the cost of refugees ends up being lower than the cost of a madman. China doesn't want to have to occupy North Korea because it's already got enough restive regions on it's plate to deal with such as Tibet, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Xinjiang province etc. without having to add yet another one. Contrary to China's big strong image it's a fragile divided nation only one arab-spring type event away from seeing a pandemic of breakaway states. It doesn't need another one of those on it's plate if it can help it.

      Kim exists as he does because he's convenient to the Chinese now - having a buffer nation to retain extremely poor North Koreans so that you don't have to deal with them yourself, and to separate you physically from a Western facing nation like South Korea is extremely convenient for China. As soon as he becomes much more inconvenient he and his state will cease to exist as they do now - if Kim keeps people poor the number of people trying to escape to China will only increase and so China will suffer the refugee influx regardless. If he keeps acting in a manner that forces a greater Western military buildup in the seas around the area then the relevance of that buffer zone between them and the West will start to erode also.

      Kim can push, but only so far, and if he crosses a line he'll no longer be useful.

  • Remember when crazy Bernie Sanders said the country we need to be most concerned about was North Korea? So dumb. Smart and sensible Clinton knew it was Iran. That's why she's made a Libya such a great place.

  • by Kernel Kurtz ( 182424 ) on Friday March 18, 2016 @12:42AM (#51720231) Homepage

    They should add a sobering graphic of North Korea's half-life should they ever launch an armed missile at anyone.

  • 10 free pairs of shoes per year, for life, and he will stop threatening to vaporise the rest of humanity.
  • Cockfighting never ends, because there is money in it.
  • Like Rodan's penis?

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