Crossfire War – TEHRAN WATCH – Global Theatre – North Korea: Tehran – Pyongyang – Beijing/Tokyo – Washington – Moscow – Geneva; North Korea Launches 3 Missiles – Tehran Waiting for Test Results
Night Watch: PYONGYANG – Tokyo announced that on Wednesday morning, 3:30 am local time (1830 GMT) North Korea commenced the launching of three missiles. A second was launched a half-hour later and the third at 5:00am (2000 GMT). They and the Pentagon reported that two were short range Scuds and the third was a long range Taepodong-2 that broke up over the Sea of Japan off the northern island of Hokkaido just 35 – 40 seconds after launch. According to reports from NHK, Fox News and CNN the long range missile was an apparent failure. The failure will be something of a disappointment to Tehran who is anxiously waiting the test results. Beijing may not be to pleased either since they have long sponsored North Korea’s missile-nuclear exports to the Middle East since the Iran/Iraq War of the 1980’s. [XINHUA]
The diplomatic charade of the Six Way Talks orchestrated by Beijing and supposedly meant to resolve the issue of Pyongyang’s nuclear-missile program was never intended to accomplish anything except deception. It may have also provided a psychological crutch to government officials who convince themselves they are really doing something. Beijing wants Iran to weaken the West-Russia-India since China has often had problems with all three and they know Iran and the Jihad have the potential to do just that. Twenty years ago China sold 50-60 CSS-2 missiles to Saudi Arabia for the same reason. Each missile has a 2,500 mile (4,000 km) range, approximately the same as the Taepodong-2.
Such exports are an act of war. Peaceful resolution of this crisis was never possible either diplomatically or through sanctions. China by itself could prevent both from being effective. Beijing hates the West-Russia-India even more than Tehran does. Unfortunately over the years the Allies have never taken any serious action to prevent exports and the exports were no secret. Neither was it any secret that despite China’s public posturing they never supported anti-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction but only paid lip service to it.
The only good news is that the Taepodong-2 may have failed. That is why I have often said nothing works as well as advertised. Perfect weaponry or weapons technology does not exist. Smart weapons and their guidance systems can become quite dumb and unguided not to mention the chance of a dud warhead being a very real possibility. Pyongyang-Beijing may have been testing a new guidance system, missile engine, even a new fuel mixture or all three. It is also known that China is noted for cutting corners on the quality of materials to reduce costs which is why over the years at least two of their Long March satellite rockets retreated back to earth almost as soon they were launched.
This is not the news Tehran wanted to hear. If Beijing cannot guarantee better reliability it could ruin Iran-China relations. News from Tehran tomorrow will be very telling. This could affect their sense of immediacy in their confrontational negotiations with the West-Russia on their nuclear program which depends on ballistic missiles to deliver some of the warheads. If China-North Korea are unable to do any better then Iran may have to decide to accelerate its timetable for allout war. Tehran knows Moscow is preparing evey level and branch of its military, conventional and unconventional, as quickly as possible to improve its response to the fighting that is continuing in the Caucasus-Caspian region the deciding front.
Iran is not going to wait for Russia to be ready and with this disappointing news Iran may now be forced to realize, whatever they have accumulated, at least some of it will have to used before this year is over, especially if they want to make much of an impact in assisting Pakistan in its next war with India. Islamabad announced last year they want the Kashmir issue solved by December 2006.