North Korea rocket preparations might be a bluff
SEOUL (AP) - Rocket sections are apparently being trucked into North Korea's northwest launch site, but some analysts are asking whether it's just a calculated bluff meant to jangle the Obama administration and influence South Korean voters ahead of presidential elections in three weeks.
There are questions about whether North Korean scientists have corrected whatever caused the embarrassing crack up of its last rocket shortly after liftoff in April, and whether Pyongyang is willing to risk another failure - along with United Nations condemnation and more sanctions.
"It's possible, of course, that Pyongyang knows its preparations will be seen and discussed in the West, and they are intended to be a signal rather than signs of an imminent launch," Mr David Wright, a physicist with the Union of Concerned Scientists, wrote on the organisation's website this week.
"Preparing for a launch less than a year after a failure calls into question whether the North could have analysed and fixed whatever went wrong."