back to article Pics show North Korean rocket ready to go

A satellite picture has been released showing what appears to be a large three-stage rocket stack erected by a gantry in North Korea, confirming news reports indicating an imminent launch. North Korea's latest revenue-generating scheme? Rattling a sabre has become very expensive. Credit: DigitalGlobe The image, released by …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Who are they trying to kid?

    Why would any nation risk putting an expensive satellite into orbit using technology that has been used once and failed spectacularly?

  2. Tim Spence

    RE: Who are they trying to kid?

    Quite, but equally, why would any nation risk launching a multi-megaton nuclear warhead into their own airspace, using technology that has been used once and failed spectacularly?

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Has to be said...

    Only the one launch?? It must be "so ronery, so ronery" :-D

    Mine's the coat with "AMERICA - FUCK YEAH!" stencilled on the back...

  4. Peter Simpson

    Why does NKorea even need a comm satellite?

    They don't talk with anyone anyway...

  5. Cameron Colley
    Black Helicopters

    The first time it failed...

    ...was there a huge, unidentified, plane with a large bulge in Korean arispace at the time, and did a spot of light appear on the rocket before it failed?

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Clearly photoshopped

    It's a grain silo for the massive North Korean Grain surplus...or maybe it's a Prawn channel satellite for Home Secretary prawno titles such as 'Huge Jackboot Orgy 7 - The Kleenex strikes back'

    BTW - So glad that Wacky Jacqui's surveillance of Emails and every flippin thing else is going to result in a certain Richard Timney being forced out of the closet!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why? N Korea is unstable dictatorship !

    similar hotspots to N Korea; Iran & Pakistan

    . . . and the power Daddy of them all: China

  8. g e

    But surely...

    If they're punting a satellite into orbit they have to register it somewhere so everyone knows to avoid it, so it would be pretty easily verifiable as it would just be 'there' when you looked for it?

  9. Yorkshirepudding

    @ Anon coward

    LMAO damn you i spilled my cuppa

  10. Pete

    When does the invasion start?


  11. Tawakalna
    Thumb Up

    ..and I for one...

    welcome the heroic struggles of the fraternal socialist state to shatter the complacent arrogance of the imperialist powers by the inspiration of juche in all scientific and military endeavours. Three million cheers for the Dear Leader Comrade Kim Jong-Il!

  12. John Smith Gold badge

    Will launch satellite

    for a sack of rice.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I'm not convinced this picture is genuine - or at the very least that it shows what they say.

    Look at the angle of the sides of nearby buildings - from a satellite, the perspective of the picture has be be almost parallel. Seems to me the angle of the rocket doesn't match, nor does its ground shadow - so either it isn't vertical or it isn't there at all (which I wouldn't put past the Americans). Or at least not yet ready for firing.

  14. Damien Thorn


    And what if they do launch a rocket? all this about other nations launching rockets spreading fear into people is pointless - everyone knows the "fuck you" red button exists, and beside that is the "slightly fucked" orange button, just waiting for signs of attack.

    N.Korea if they did launch are just saying "fuck me, no fuck you right back", and so it goes on and on, till one day someone sits down and says "oh fuck em all" and kaboom.

    Paranoia is responsible for more wars/deaths than koreans with big phallis shaped rockets.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    I'm not happy. All these comments and not one puerile quip about "Taepodong" yet.

    "N Korea prepares to launch a 3-stage dong into space", etc.

    What the matter with people?

    Paris: 'Nuff said.

  16. Toastan Buttar
    Thumb Up

    If the launch is successful...

    ...I hope they get the same little lady who announced the nuclear test blast to come on our TV's again. I like her.

  17. Francis Vaughan

    Re: Who are they trying to kid?

    Ah, you mean like ESA, who launched the first ever Arianne-5 with nearly $400M worth of kit on top, and dropped the whole thing into the sea after one of the more celebrated software failures caused the vehicle to self destruct.

    It is a funny question. The converse question is also reasonable. Who would not put something on top? You risk wasting a valuable launch if it works. First ever Shuttle launch had a couple of astronauts inside. Now that was confidence. The Russians didn't try that with their Shuttle's first (and only) flight.

    Mind you I will cheerfully bet that this particular beast will not make orbit.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stares at fuzzy picture

    Rocket? What rocket?

    I can only see the Virgin Mary.

    Riding a bicycle.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ g e

    The North Koreans should have to give details of any object they put into orbit.

    In 1998, they even went so far as to tell the world the elements for Kwangmyongsong which was apparently circling the Earth broadcasting toe-tapping melodies such as "Song of General Kim Il Sung" and "Song of General Kim Jong Il" at 27MHz. They insisted it was up there, even though the US couldn't ever track it on radar and listeners on 27MHz were disappointed not to be able to listen in.

    It looks like the 1998 launch was one for a space vehicle which went wrong at the last minute and either tipped the satellite into the North Pacific or into a very low orbit from which it decayed within hours.

  20. NB


    how come google gets higher quality scans?

  21. Jacob Lipman

    Too much credit

    "Quite, but equally, why would any nation risk launching a multi-megaton nuclear warhead into their own airspace, using technology that has been used once and failed spectacularly?"

    Their test-nuke was most assuredly in the sub-megaton range. I would be very surprised if NK could, so soon after that test, build an ICBM-ready nuclear weapon that could so much as rival WWII-era U.S. nukes (15ish kilotons if I recall correctly).

    Even if a small nuclear weapon successfully detonated in Korean airspace, or on the ground at the launch site, what would the effects be? Comic books tells us that radiation makes things grow, so maybe this is all a zany plot to make up for that whole malnurished generation.

  22. ian


    Looking for peurile (even sophmoric) comments are you? So as not to dissapoint, here you are:

    Are they naming this rocket the "Big Type o'Dong"? Or Kim Il Jong's Ding Dong?

    Either way it appears to be prohibited by the UNO, and may well become a test target for the US and Japan.

    Enough of the willy-wagging.

  23. masterpikey

    re: wait *sigh*

    for about the 10,000 time on the reg forums, its because the last few zoom levels on google maps/earth are from pics taken from aircraft, not satelites

  24. Martin Silver badge

    Super secret stealth satelite

    >They insisted it was up there, even though the US couldn't ever track it on radar

    Yes but remember that many tin pot little third world countries are able to build up huge fleets of weapons of mass destruction that are completely invisible and undetectable even when you have taken the country apart.

  25. Bod

    nuke threat

    Fuss about nothing unless a certain country pushes them.

    Like with Iraq before them, I'd have more trust in a well organised but repressed dictatorship society (as it was under Saddam), far more than a tribal, fragmented, disorganised nation that harbours real terrorists (like Iraq and Afghanistan are now).

    The lives of their people may suck, but there are better ways to sort that out than threatening a paranoid nation to the extent they'll chuck a nuke at you.

  26. Donn Bly
    Black Helicopters

    @John re: Genuine

    The shadows of the objects are consistent with each other and are about what I would expect, once you realize that the image could have been taken from a position within a degree or so directly north of the target, about 2PM local time, with the gantry tower directly behind casting a rather large shadow.

    Most of us are used to seeing the "google earth" imagery which is processed and skewed to look like an overhead shot - real satellite images don't usually look like that ;)

    I am curious why you would try to blame the Americans for falsifying the image? After all, North Korea freely admits that it is there, and the pictures released are from an unrelated commercial entity showing off their ability to take such pictures (cheap publicity and advertising if they didn't have something better for that bird to be doing at that moment), and not from either government.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Toastan Buttar

    "I hope they get the same little lady who announced the nuclear test blast to come on our TV's again. I like her."

    Me too - isn't she fabulous? Not many people could pull off that particular shade of peach, but she manages it brilliantly:

    And she's MUCH more entertaining than Robert Peston.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Giant Penis?

    Is that thing on the left a giant penis?

    And don't tell me I'm obsessed with sex: you're the ones with the dirty pictures!

  29. David Casler

    Why such poor resolution?

    Digital Globe's resolution is far higher than that shown in the photo. Why can't they release a higher-res image?

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