Skip to comments.U.S. officials secretly visited N. Korea ahead of rocket launch: report(but burned again)
Posted on 05/23/2012 7:05:42 PM PDT by TigerLikesRooster
U.S. officials secretly visited N. Korea ahead of rocket launch: report
SEOUL (Kyodo) -- U.S. officials secretly visited North Korea last month days before its April 13 long-range rocket launch in an unsuccessful bid to get Pyongyang to call off the launch, a local news report said Friday.
The officials flew into Pyongyang around 8 a.m. on April 7 and left later the same day, according to Reset KBS, an online broadcasting channel.
The U.S. side and the South Korean government did not notify South Korea's air force of the flight, which passed through South Korean airspace. As a result, South Korea's military air traffic controllers initially had trouble identifying the aircraft but eventually allowed it to pass over to the North, the report said.
North Korea went ahead with the rocket launch on April 13, drawing international criticism for violating U.N. resolutions. The launch ended in failure when the rocket exploded barely a minute into flight.
Nice handy work Barry. Not!
From Yonhap News: http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/national/2012/05/23/34/0301000000AEN20120523001800315F.HTML
(2nd LD) U.S. tepid about N. Korea's overture, threats
By Lee Chi-dong
WASHINGTON, May 22 (Yonhap) -- The U.S. government was apparently unenthusiastic Tuesday about North Korea's latest overture, coupled with its typical threats.
"We're going to be guided not by what they say, but what they do," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said at a press briefing.
She was responding to remarks by her North Korean counterpart that the communist nation has no plans to conduct a nuclear test soon and it remains open for a negotiated solution to the nuclear issue.
Pyongyang informed the U.S. several weeks ago that it is "refraining" from provocative actions, according to the unnamed spokesman for Pyongyang's foreign ministry.
The spokesman reiterated that the North will be "left with no option but to take counter-measures for self-defense" if Washington continues to put sanctions and pressure on it.
Nuland said, "Frankly, I'm not sure what they mean by that. ... I'm not sure what they actually had in mind."
She pointed out that the U.S. has lost confidence in North Korea's commitments to denuclearization.
"You know what we've been saying about the Leap Day Agreement, that we no longer have any confidence in any of the commitments that they've made since they've already abrogated the major ones," she said.
Under the Feb. 29 deal, the North pledged to suspend some of its nuclear activity and long-range missile tests. In return, the U.S. agreed to offer food aid.
Nuland neither confirmed nor denied a news report that a senior U.S. government official visited Pyongyang a week before the North's rocket launch in April.
"I'm not commenting on it one way or the other," she said.
A diplomatic source said Joseph DeTrani, the director of the National Counterproliferation Center (NCPC) under the Office of Director of the National Intelligence (DNI), made the secret trip to Pyongyang.
DeTrani served at the DNI as the North Korea Mission Manager, where he was responsible for integrating collection and analysis on North Korea.
He is known to have organized former President Bill Clinton's visit to Pyongyang in August 2009, which led to the release of two female American journalists.
The source said President Barack Obama might have delivered a special message to the North Korean regime through DeTrani, although his mission to dissuade it from firing a long-range rocket ended in failure.
Meanwhile, North Korea is increasing activity at its nuclear test site, the U.S. cable news channel CNN reported, citing analysis of new satellite images by the defense publication IHS Janes.
Mining carts and excavation equipment are seen at Punggye-ri, North Hamgyeong Province, where it detonated a nuclear device in 2006 and 2009, according to satellite images taken by Digital Globe and GeoEye in April, CNN said.
TLR, you say in your comment that the South Koreans “scrambled” to find out why the US government (military) plane was heading north without first notifying the SoKo government, did you mean the SoKo gov’t was rapidly, moving with all due haste, etc., via telephone, radio, TWX to find out why the US plane was in their airspace or did you mean the SoKo gov’t immediately sent up (”scrambled”)fighter jets to determine where the jet was headed? You may mean both but I’m curious to know your answer.
Seems to me this action was a diplomatic gaffe of the first order on the part of the US toward a highly involved and interested nation. If the SoKo gov’t didn’t respond by sending up fighters, that would suggest to me a sluggishness of defense posture (perhaps). Likewise, if the US State Dept. was also unaware of the flight and reason for the “visit”, then that also suggests all is not well between the WH and State (not a surprise with Hillary in the top spot).
I certainly can understand why the SoKo gov’t would be “irked” by the amateurish maneuver by the White House.
1. Appease an enemy. <
2. Offend an ally.
3. Accomplish nothing.
President Bush has been proven correct in that Iran and North Korea are parts of the axis of evil and if Iraq had been left alone there is a chance that he was right on all 3.
Any body with me to divvy up the work??
Wonder if Koehler in his “Marmot’s Hole” blog will carry this as well...
Apparently they did finally learn that it was a U.S. plane on a diplomatic mission. However, they got the impression that they were not the only ones in the dark. To them, many U.S. officials who should know(such as State Dept. officials) also looked surprised.
Until after the election.
The he set about rebuilding Iraq, thus blowing the budget to deal with either Iran or the Norks. How UN civilized of him.
How times have changed.
We've "grown up." I thought the litter basket in that commercial was very cool.
We've "grown up." I thought the litter basket in that commercial was very cool video.
Maybe he hoped SK would knock it out of the air and we could stop supporting them war mongers so NK could realize its peaceful destiny...
Thank you, TLR, for the good explanation. It is what I expected and suspected I would hear, i.e., the South Koreans were on the ball and on top of things and, as usual, Obama and the White House were not.
I hope your post was made in jest or sarcastically?
“You won’t believe this, but my name is Granny Goose.”
You replied: I hope your post was made in jest or sarcastically?
More sarcasm than jest, but with Obama you never know. He seems to support evil/terrorist regimes and treats friends/allies with contempt. NOTHING would surprise me. In this particular case, it's probably just a case of egotistic contempt and arrogant stupidity on his part as he failed to let a friendly country know one of our planes would be using its airspace to enter a hostile regime.