North Korea Launch Preparations Nearly Complete

Diplomats Say Launch Could Tighten Sanctions

Last updated 4/4  1:55 PM EST

North Korea appears to be close to finished with preparations for their satellite launch, and the controversial move, which officials say is a thinly disguised test of a long-range missile. The launch was delayed, however, by wind.

At the same time, senior defense officials acknowledge that the intelligence is murky on the matter, and that it was unclear whether they had actually begun fueling the rocket.

The US and some of its allies have been threatening North Korea for weeks with unspecific consequences if the launch happens. Diplomats are now saying that in all likelihood this would mean tightening the enforcement of existing sanctions, though it seems unlikely the United Nations Security Council will approve of additional sanctions.

The launch is expected to take the satellite above Japan, and the Japanese military has prepared to shoot down the missile if it appears to be a threat. North Korea said any shoot down would be considered an “act of war,” and would consider it “the start of Japan’s war of re-invasion more than six decades after the Second World War.”

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.