Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Seoul scrubs the launch of KSLV 1

The ROC [Republic of Korea aka South Korea] aborted at the 11th hour the launch of its first long range missile KSLV 1 [Korea Space Launch Vehicle 1] on 19 August 2009.
Was its delay out of respect for national days of mourning for Kim Dae Jung? Hardly. The launch of South Korea's first space satellite would if anything be considered as a tribute to this respected old warrior who risked life and limb for brining democracy to his country.
Furthermore it was yet another delay to a lift off owing to technical problems. Testing KSLV 1 raises many red flags for South Korea among its neighbours in east and southeast Asia.
As Guam Diary noted in 'sanctions for South Korea, the KSLV 1 opens a can of worms for Seoul. It was developed with the generous help of Russian rocket technology, at a cost to Seoul of 500bn Won or us$400m. [According to South korea's science ministry, 160 Russian engineers are working at the Naro space centre off the southern coast of the ROC.] The ROC's nonetheless expose the double standards Washington applies in protecting an ally or client state, it is fair to say.
KSLV 1 long range missile opens a race to develop long range missiles in east and southeast Asia. Now we know, such missiles have peaceful and warlike uses.
Warlike for Pyongyang, pontificates Ralph Cossa, president of the Hawaii based Pacific Forum at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies [CSIS], since it violated UN resolutions, thereby denying them the right to shoot such long range missile into outer space. Well, Mr Cossa's remarks are politically motivated and highly questionable. And objectively challenged, to boot.
Peaceful for Seoul, since it is our ally, if you follow Mr. Cossa train of thought.
One way or the other, Seoul's KSLV 1 will fire the opening shot for a race against time in east and southeast Asia, to amass missile arsenals, spike up the chances for war, nuclear or conventional with such sophisticated technology, open up a drain on Asian treasury for such 'toys', and hasten nuclear development in the region, and with long range missile increase the range of vunerability of countries thousands of kilometres away who until now had little to fear.

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