North Korea’s next move: a nuclear test?
After the failure of its rocket launch, experts suspect that North Korea’s next move will be more provocative, because that is what they did following launches in 2006 and 2009.
An American analyst, Ralph Cossa, told CBS News that yesterday’s failure makes it more likely that the North will attempt a nuclear test sooner rather than later. Since the rocket launch was meant to demonstrate North Korea’s technical prowess, once it fell apart and they had to admit it failed, that put them under more pressure to achieve something. “A nuclear test may now be seen as even more necessary, not just to further perfect their weapons capability, but also to save face.”
Since this launch had been done in defiance of many other nations, according to a Reuters news report, it becomes a very embarrassing public failure. Lee Jong-won, a professor at Waseda University in Tokyo, believes it is inevitable to find people responsible for the failure.
This launch intended also to celebrate the 100th birthday of the dead North Korean founding president, Kim Il-sung, and to show the world the power of his grandson, Kim Jong-un. Bruce W. Bennett, a senior defense analyst who is visiting Seoul, told Business Week the launch was probably decided upon a year ago by Kim Jong Il. “He was probably very demanding of his scientists. For this kind of failure to occur I assume some people will pay with their lives.”