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Contributing Factors to North Korea’s Different Treatment of 2006 and 2009 Missile Launches


Following the failed 2006 Taepo Dong-2 (TD-2) missile launch, North Korean media remained quiet, which the Open Source Center (OSC) assessed as normal North Korean behavior. According to the OSC, “Pyongyang has a long record of delaying official pronouncements on a variety of sensitive topics, particularly those that involve the US. For example, when North Korea launched its TD-1 on 31 Aug 98, it issued “a low-level, tacit admission two days after the launch followed by its official policy pronouncement four days later, which characterized the event primarily as S&T related with the potential for military application.” In stark contrast, North Korea touted its 2009 launch on the same day with North Korean media labeling it as a “successful satellite launch.” Equally unusual was North Korea’s first announcement of a planned launch approximately 1 1/2 months prior to the actual event – an unprecedented occurrence. Continuing its unprecedented behavior, North Korea formally notified the International Maritime Organization and the International Civil Aviation Organization on 12 Mar it would launch a satellite between 04 – 08 Apr, and submitted two closure areas that corresponded to potential 1st and 2nd stage impact areas. Following the 05 Apr launch, it also reported on Kim Jong-il’s visit to the launch site and released photos of the visit on 06 Apr.

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Full Citation:

Sin, Steve S. 2009. “Contributing Factors to North Korea’s Different Treatment of 2006 and 2009 Missile Launches.” United States Forces Korea Open-Source Media Analysis Report.

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