Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wire: Pentagon Says North Korea Fueling Rocket

Off the Wire

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 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.
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.

(Report from a commercial news media source.)

Source: North Korea is fueling rocket, U.S. military says

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