According to reports by Reuters, The Associated Press, CNN and other agencies North Korea has “test-fired several missiles in the early hours of Wednesday, July 5 (Tuesday afternoon Eastern time), apparently including the Taepodong-2, the long-range missile at the heart of diplomatic tensions with the United States and its allies.”
The long-range missile seems to have malfunctioned less than a minute into its flight, CNN and Reuters reported, citing American officials they did not name.
“Today’s launches were done despite advance warning by the relevant countries,” the top spokesman for the Japanese government, Shinzo Abe, told reporters early Wednesday in Tokyo, Reuters reported. “This is a grave problem in terms of peace and stability, not only of Japan but also of international society,” Mr. Abe was quoted as saying. “We strongly protest against North Korea.”
A White House spokeswoman said staff were urgently consulting on North Korea’s move but had no comment yet. “We have absolutely nothing at this point,” the White House spokeswoman, Dana Perino, told Reuters.
AP reports, “If the timing is correct, the North Korean missiles were launched within minutes of Tuesday’s liftoff of Discovery, which blasted into orbit from Cape Canaveral in the first U.S. space shuttle launch in a year,” making the “test-fires” the second liftoff of the day.
…the first missile was launched at about 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, or about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday EDT. The two others were launched at bout 4 a.m. and 5 a.m., he said.
Meanwhile, the North American Aerospace Defense Command — which monitors the skies for threats to North American security — went on heightened alert, said NORAD spokesman Michael Kucharek.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I sure as hell don’t feel safer, with the Bush cabal running the show. The White House termed the test-fires “a provocation” but not an “immediate threat.” One has to wonder if they will tell us if there is an immediate threat…