Monday, July 10, 2006

I love

...and have relied on their technical analysis for years.

I am, however, not happy at all with their technical analysis of the Taepodong flight.

Boy, is the introduction ever jut-jawed and convincing.

A least-energy great circle route for a missile leaving the Musudan-ri site, crossing Aomori Prefecture and proceeding 8000 kilometers downrange, would sweep past all of the Hawaiian Islands and end up in a splashdown just about on the Equator.


The analyst, however, backtracks immediately from this provocative conclusion, saying that DoD officials have not revealed anything more than the missile was "heading East." He also admits that his graphic is not a reflection of any information regarding the angle of ascent of the boost phase of the missile--just a best guess based on a satellite booster.

Then there is the claim that the Taepodong 2 was not the third missile fired, as most people believe, but the fourth missile.

And a claim that the missile's propellant was Unsymmetrical Dimethylhydrazine and the oxidizer Inhibited Red Fuming Nitric Acid--not Kerosene/Gasoline with Nitric Acid/Di-Nitrogen Tetraoxide like most analysts and news services seem to be claiming.

Does anyone know of a site that marches through what is known, what is not known and the questions I should be asking?

On a slightly different topic, does anyone think Japan's chances at the United Nations would improve if someone pulled an Adlai Stevenson and laid everything out on the table--you know, to sort of remind the Chinese what a threat to international peace and security looks like?

P.S. The one really interest bit of information I learned from Charles P. Vick is that neither Soviet nor Chinese missiles have a self-destruct mechanism. By extension we have to assume the same for the North Korean missiles.

Now that is completely nuts--but sounds just like the save-a-kopeck/lose-a-rouble mentality of the Evil Empire we all used to fear so much.

P.P.S. To their credit, the folks at have finally taken down their ludicrous machine translations of MSDF ship names.

The translation for the name of the Ōsumi (LST 4001) was for years and years, despite numerous emails from your truly begging them, pleading with them to change it:

"the Male - to See"

No, I am not making this up.

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