- By Isaac Stone FishIsaac Stone Fish is FP's Asia editor. A Mandarin speaker, he lived in China for seven years before moving to Washington, D.C. His articles have also appeared in the New York Times, the Economist, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times, and he has appeared as a commentator on MSNBC, the BBC, NPR, Al Jazeera, and PRI, among others.
North Korea, the world’s poorest, most maddeningly opaque nuclear power, has just launched a long-range rocket. Or at least it was supposed to be a long-range rocket.
Both the Pentagon and the South Korean defense ministry have confirmed that the rocket was launched at 7:39am Seoul time, or 6:49pm Washington, D.C. time; a spokesman for the South Korean defense ministry said that a few minutes after the launch the rocket had broken up and crashed into the sea. North Korea hasn’t commented yet, either through official channels or the usually feisty (and congratulatory) Korean Central News Agency of the DPRK.
North Korea announced the plan for the satellite launch, which it claimed was for peaceful purposes, on March 16, less than three weeks after it had signed a deal with the United States in which it promised to stop nuclear and long-range missile tests. Even U.S. officials and long-term North Korea watchers used to dealing with a mercurial Pyongyang were surprised by the speed at which the country reneged on the agreement.
The fear is that, were Pyongyang successful in actually launching a long-range missile, North Korea could eventually load a nuclear warhead on a rocket and send it as far as Alaska or Hawaii. Seoul, the South Korean capital of over ten million people which is only dozens of miles from the DMZ, has been well within striking range of North Korea’s artillery for decades.
Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at email@example.com.
Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.
A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.
Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C.| The Cable |