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North Korean Missile Test Failure

A lot of politicians and talking heads have taken solace from the failure of the North Korean Taepodong-2 missile shortly after its launch. They have not mentioned that the rocket sat on the launching pad for days, possibly being fueled and unfueled. Then, it looks as if the rocket was launched on a very short deadline, just after the Shuttle launched on July 4, which means that the technicians may have been under a lot of pressure to launch it quickly. They may have being doing this on the political orders of Kim Jong-Il, rather than the rocket scientists who built the rocket. If the test were done on political orders and on a political schedule, then we can take less comfort in its failure than if the test had been a purely technical one. On the other hand, because of that, the scientists may have gotten less useful data than if they had run the test on their own schedule.

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