Am I wrong? I mean it always is a failure lol, not to say they won't one day succeed.

pril 6, 2009 Experts Call North Korean Missile Launch a Failure

By WILLIAM J. BROAD
North Korea failed in its highly vaunted effort to fire a satellite into orbit, military and private experts said Sunday after reviewing detailed tracking data that showed the missile and payload fell into the sea. Some said the failure undercut the North Korean campaign to come across as a fearsome adversary able hurl deadly warheads halfway around the globe.
Defying world opinion, North Korea in recent weeks had moved steadily and fairly openly toward launching a long-range rocket that Western experts saw as a major step toward a military weapon. The launching itself on Sunday, which the North Korea government portrayed as a success — even bragging that the supposed satellite payload was now broadcasting patriotic tunes from space — outraged Japan and South Korea, led to widespread rebuke by President Obama and other leaders, and forced the United Nations Security Council to go into an emergency session.
But looking at the launching from a purely technical vantage point, space experts said the failure represented a blow that in all likelihood would seriously delay the missile’s debut.
“It’s got to be embarrassing,” said Geoffrey E. Forden, a missile expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “I can image heads flying if the ‘Dear Leader’ finds out the satellite didn’t fly into orbit, ” he said, referring to the name North Koreans are obliged to use when speaking of Kim Jong-il, North Korea’s reclusive leader.
Analysts dismissed the idea that the rocket firing could represent a furtive success, calling the failure consistent with past North Korean fumbles and suggesting it may reveal a significant quality-control problem in one of the world’s most isolated nation.
“It’s a setback,” said Jonathan McDowell, a Harvard astronomer who tracks satellites and rocket launchings, said of the North Korean launching. He added that the North Koreans must now find and fix the problem. “The missile doesn’t represent any kind of near-term threat.”
Others said North Korea’s client states, such as Iran, seem to be having more success at rocketry than their Asian patron. In February, Iran managed to launch a small satellite into orbit.
The United States Northern Command, based in Colorado Springs, issued a statement Sunday that portrayed the launching as a major failure. It based its information on a maze of federal radars, spy ships and satellites that monitor global missile firings.
The command said that North Korea launched a Taepodong-2 missile at 11:30 a.m. local time, or 10:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Saturday, and that its first stage fell into the Sea of Japan, which analysts had expected as the point of splashdown in a successful launching.
However, “the remaining stages along with the payload itself landed in the Pacific Ocean,” the statement added. Analysts had expected the rocket’s second stage to land in the Pacific but its third stage and its ostensible satellite payload to fly into space.
The command emphasized that “no object entered orbit” — apparently a reference to both the rocket’s third stage as well as the supposed satellite.
North Korea’s public portrayal of the event as a complete success was similar in its celebratory tone to the happy note it struck in 1998 after having failed to loft a satellite into orbit.
According to news reports out of Japan, the rocket’s second stage splashed down in the Pacific, hundreds of miles short of the danger zone that North Korea had announced last month. Western analysts said that shortfall, if correct, probably indicated a failure of the missile’s second stage.
A general rule of engineering is that failures reveal more than successes. If so, North Korea — which has now test-fired three long-range rockets, each time unsuccessfully — is learning a lot about limitations.
“It’s not unusual to have a series of failures at the beginning of a missile program,” Jeffrey G. Lewis, an arms control specialist at the New America Foundation, a research group in Washington, said in an interview. “But they don’t test enough to develop confidence that they’re getting over the problems.”
Dr. Lewis added that an influential 1998 report by Donald H. Rumsfeld before he became secretary of defense in the Bush administration argued that the North Korean rockets might be good enough to pose a threat to the United States even without flight testing.
“But given that both versions of the Taepodong-2 have failed now,” he said, “we have very little confidence in the reliability of the system.”
North Korea is often portrayed as technically adept when it comes to bombs and rockets. But Western analysts say that image is now in doubt amid rising questions of basic competence.
In August 1998, North Korea’s first attempt at launching a long-range rocket, the Taepodong-1, managed to scare Japan but failed to deliver a satellite to orbit. The troubles continued in July 2006 when its second test of a long-range missile, the Taepodong-2, ended in catastrophe just seconds after liftoff.
And in October 2006, North Korea conducted an explosive test of a nuclear device inside a remote mountain tunnel. Many intelligence analysts judged it to be a fizzle that barely shook the ground. The test nonetheless raised fears that North Korea would seek to develop a nuclear warhead compact enough to fit atop a missile.
The current drama was different from past ones in that North Korea announced its rocket intentions weeks in advance of the test firing, giving the International Maritime Organization coordinates at sea where it expected the first and second stages to splash down.
Western analysts agree that the missile launching is a military endeavor, despite its ostensible payload of an experimental communications satellite and its cocoon of North Korean propaganda. Starting with Sputnik in 1957, most of the world’s Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles began life as satellite launchers.
Dennis C. Blair, the director of national intelligence, told reporters last month that “North Korea is attempting to demonstrate an ICBM capability through a space launch.” He added: “Most of the world understands the game they are playing.”
David C. Wright, a senior scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, a private group in Cambridge, Mass., estimated that the rocket, if eventually successful, might lead to a ballistic missile that could throw a warhead of 2,200 pounds to a distance of some 3,700 miles – far enough to hit parts of Alaska.
He added that if the warhead’s weight could be cut in half, down to 1,100 pounds, the rocket would be able to hurl the weapon much farther, some 5,600 miles. That, in theory, would bring the West coast of the continental United States within its range.
But Dr. Wright noted that developing a miniaturized warhead “is likely to be a significant challenge for North Korea,” so that the rocket, even if successful, would “not represent a true intercontinental nuclear delivery capability.”
In an interview, he said the weekend test appeared to be less of a failure than the 2006 rocket launching attempt, and might provide useful information about how to make improvements.
But Dr. Wright added that the string of rocket failures over the past decade may indicate serious quality control problems. If so, North Korea may simply have “recurring problems in how they manufacture things,” which may prove hard to fix.
He added that the rocket’s failure might “open a window of opportunity” for the Obama administration to engage the North Koreans in disarmament talks.
Choe Sang-hun contributed reporting from Seoul, South Korea.