Thursday, April 26, 2012

Analysts say North Korea's new missiles are fakes

TOKYO (AP) — Analysts who have studied photos of a half-dozen ominous new North Korean missiles showcased recently at a lavish military parade say they were fakes, and not very convincing ones, casting further doubt on the country's claims of military prowess.
Since its recent rocket launch failure, Pyongyang's top military leaders have made several boastful statements about its weapons capabilities. On Wednesday, Vice Marshal Ri Yong Ho claimed his country is capable of defeating the United States "at a single blow." And on Monday, North Korea promised "special actions" that would reduce Seoul's government to ashes within minutes.
But the weapons displayed April 15 appear to be a mishmash of liquid-fuel and solid-fuel components that could never fly together. Undulating casings on the missiles suggest the metal is too thin to withstand flight. Each missile was slightly different from the others, even though all were supposedly the same make. They don't even fit the launchers they were carried on.
"There is no doubt that these missiles were mock-ups," Markus Schiller and Robert Schmucker, of Germany's Schmucker Technologie, wrote in a paper posted recently on the website that listed those discrepancies. "It remains unknown if they were designed this way to confuse foreign analysts, or if the designers simply did some sloppy work."
The missiles, called KN-08s, were loaded onto the largest mobile launch vehicles North Korea has ever unveiled. Pyongyang gave them special prominence by presenting them at the end of the parade, which capped weeks of celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of the country's founding father, Kim Il Sung.
The unveiling created an international stir. The missiles appeared to be new, and designed for long-range attacks.
That's a big concern because, along with developing nuclear weapons, North Korea has long been suspected of trying to field an intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM, capable of reaching the United States. Washington contends that North Korea's failed April 13 rocket launch was an attempt to test missile technology rather than the scientific mission Pyongyang claims.
But after pouring over close-up photos of the missiles, Schiller and Schmucker, whose company has advised NATO on missile issues, argue the mock-ups indicate North Korea is a long way from having a credible ICBM.
"There is still no evidence that North Korea actually has a functional ICBM," they concluded, adding that the display was a "dog and pony show" and suggesting North Korea may not be making serious progress toward its nuclear-tipped ICBM dreams.
North Korea has a particularly bad track record with ICBM-style rockets. Its four launches since 1998 — three of which it claimed carried satellites — have all ended in failure.
Though North Korea frequently overstates its military capabilities, the missiles displayed this month might foreshadow weapons it is still working on.
David Wright, a physicist with the Union of Concerned Scientists who has written extensively about North Korea's missile program, said he believes the KN-08s could be "somewhat clumsy representations of a missile that is being developed."
Wright noted that the first signs the outside world got of North Korea's long-range Taepodong-2 missile — upon which the recent failed rocket was based — was from mock-ups seen in 1994, 12 years before it was actually tested on the launch pad.
"To understand whether there is a real missile development program in place, we are trying to understand whether the mock-ups make sense as the design for a real missile," he said. "It is not clear that it has a long enough range to make sense for North Korea to invest a lot of effort in."
Theodore Postol, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and former scientific adviser to the U.S. Chief of Naval Operations, said the Taepodong-2 design remains the more real future threat — though even that remains at least a decade away — and the KN-08 is simply a smoke screen.
"I believe that these missiles are not only mock-ups, but they are very unlikely to be actual mock-ups of any missiles in design," he said. "Fabricating a missile like the KN-08 would require a gigantic indigenous technical effort. ... The only way North Korea could develop such a missile with its pitiful economy would be if someone gave it to them."
He noted that a comparable U.S. missile, the Minuteman III, required "decades of expertise in rocket motors, and vast sums of intellectual, technological and financial capital."
Much attention, meanwhile, has been given to the 16-wheel mobile launchers that carried the missiles during the parade, which experts believe may have included a chassis built in China. That raises questions of whether China has violated U.N. sanctions against selling missile-related technology to Pyongyang.
Some missile experts say the launchers were designed to carry a larger missile than the 18-meter-long KN-08, and argue that North Korea would not have spent millions of dollars on them unless it has, or intends to have, a big missile to put on them.
But Wright said the launchers, like the missiles they carried, could also have been more for show than anything else.
"Given the international attention it has gotten from parading these missiles you could argue that the cost of buying the large trucks — which add a lot of credibility to the images of the missiles — was money well spent in terms of projecting an image of power," he said.

Report Paya collusion between Church and the Cuban regime

Cuba / Complaint
Cubamatinal / The message, sent by e-mail to an extensive  mailing list, poses one of its parts, "Enough of despotism, doctrines, exclusive conference and conditioned of moves and maneuvers of distraction to justify and consolidate change fraud ... " Click on this link to access the document disseminated by Paya.

Madrid, April 22 / According to review of Pablo Alfonso Marti News; The opposition leader Oswaldo Paya, president of Christian Liberation Movement (MCL) who reported on Thursday within the Catholic Church in Cuba "increasingly moving into the tunnel alignment with the lies of the regime and the draft continuity of totalitarianism, which are infatuated the privilege of power. "
In one of his strongest criticism of the ecclesiastical structures Cuban Sakharov Prize 2002, recognized Catholic militancy is conference referred to the dialogue among Cubans, which opened Thursday in Havana sponsored by Cardinal Jaime Ortega, Archbishop of Havana, and the magazine Palabra Nueva, the official organ of the Archdiocese  , Stating that "it is organized and led by those in Cuba, not only opposition despise peaceful, but deny their existence, specifically, in their publications and so are encouraging the oligarchy  to continue to deny rights to the Cubans. "
Read the full text of the complaint inbound link to the news.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012 9:16
"Tll must reconcile with each other, not only as people to each other, but as a human group.
We must find a way to feel all brothers, "said Cardinal Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino, Radio Marti, while participating in the forum on the impact of the Cuban Catholic Church in the community, sponsored by Harvard University.

The correspondent of Radio Marti at the conference, Carmen Maria Rodriguez, said the Cardinal did not answer the question asked by one of the reporters about what happened to the Cuban shouted "Down with Communism!" During the Pope's Mass in Santiago Cuba.

Furthermore, when questioned about the thirteen dissidents who entered a church in Havana, said Ortega y Alamino were not removed by force and they were criminals and persons of low educational level, reported the journalist.

Ortega y Alamino devoted part of his speech Tuesday to the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the island and the reaction it generated in the town as "evidence that faith is present in a high percentage of Cubans."

The Archbishop of Havana also recalled that "the pope said that as Christians, we should support the patient and constructive changes."

The Cardinal emphasized that "the whole world has seen that the church is alive and has been present in the long years of difficulties," and that "the pursuit of truth is the basis for freedom," as appeared in the account Twitter of the host institution.

The forum, held at the Institute of Politics at the prestigious Boston University, also attended by Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley, Archbishop of Boston, Jorge Dominguez, Vice Chancellor for International Affairs of Harvard University, and Professor Mary Jo Bane .

For his part, Cardinal O 'Malley recalled the difficulties of being Catholic on the island during the 70 and 80 and that the former Cuban president Fidel Castro was excommunicated by Pope John XXIII in 1962.

The event also to be free and open to the public, was broadcast live via the web site of John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum.

The event was organized with the cosponsorship of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies.