Wire: Pentagon Says North Korea Fueling Rocket
Off the Wire:
WASHINGTON, April 1, 2009 -- Newswires reported Wednesday that North Korea has begun fueling its long-range rocket, according to a senior U.S. military official.
The fueling signals that the country could be in the final stages of what North Korea has said will be the launch of a satellite into space as early as this weekend, the senior U.S. military official said Wednesday, CNN reported.
CNN also reported the following news:
Other U.S. military officials said the top portion of the rocket was put on very recently, but satellite imagery shows a shroud over the stage preventing a direct view of what it looks like.The U.S. believes that the North Koreans have the technology to hit Alaska or Hawaii with a missile and that the country is working on advancing that technology so it could hit the west coast of the United States, according to CNN.
The officials said the payload appears to have a "bulbous" cover, which could indicate that there is a satellite loaded on it. Such a cover protects a satellite from damage in flight.
Although the sources did not know for sure what the payload is, they said there is no reason to doubt that it is a satellite, as indicated by North Korea.
Pyongyang has said it will launch the rocket between April 4 and April 8. A launch would violate a 2006 United Nations Security Council resolution banning the reclusive state from launching ballistic missiles.
(Report from a commercial news media source.)
Source: North Korea is fueling rocket, U.S. military says
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