UPDATE ON APRIL 16: Iranian nuclear scientists were present at failed North Korean missile launch, says source

Good news from Asia. North Korea’s rocket launch has failed. This is particularly good since Iran and North Korea have been working so closely on rocket and missile technology in recent years. A setback for Pyongyang is likely also a blow to Tehran’s hopes of having an intercontinental ballistic missile any time soon, though that remains the goals of the mullahs. “Defying international concerns, North Korea fired a long-range rocket early today, but it appears to have fallen into the sea, splintering moments after takeoff,” reports the Daily Telegraph out of London. “The liftoff took place at 7:39 am from the west coast launch pad in the hamlet of Tongchang-ri, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff in Seoul said, citing South Korean and U.S. intelligence. The two countries as well as many others had warned against the launch, calling it a provocation and a cover to test missile technology. North Korea had insisted it would not back down, and said the rocket would only carry a satellite, touting it as a major technological achievement to mark the 100th birth anniversary of the country’s founder, Kim Il Sung, on Sunday. Still, if the US report of a failure, backed by Japan and South Korea, is true, it would be a major embarrassment for Pyongyang, which has invited dozens of international journalists to observe the rocket launch and other celebrations….”

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