Inside the Ring
By labeling the missile a space launcher, Pyongyang hopes to avoid further international sanctions, such as those imposed after its missile launches in July 2006, including a failed Taepodong-2 test. Additionally, by declaring the missile a space launcher, North Korea is seeking to complicate the use of U.S. missile defenses, which U.S. military commanders have said could be used to shoot down the latest missile if it is tracked as heading toward U.S. or allied territory. declined to comment.
“The Pentagon’s report is an annual requirement based on the provisions of the fiscal year 2000 National Defense Authorization Act,” he said. “The report is intended to be factual, descriptive and analytical. It is intended to let the facts speak for themselves.”
The 66-page report, released Wednesday, says China is developing a range of hightech military capabilities.
Opposition to the report comes after Chinese complaints about U.S. Navy survey ships operating in international waters claimed by China as economic zones. Several confrontations have occurred between the U.S. ships and Chinese naval vessels, including the harassment of the USNS Impeccable in the South China Sea on March 7.