Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Today's Cartoon: North Korea Uses "Independence Day" To Test Long-Range Missile

Well... after weeks of speculation, it appears that North Korea has decided to use America’s "Fourth of July" holiday as an opportunity to declare its own "independence" from the international community, by test firing its long range missile.

I think more than the actual missile test itself, the Bush Administration is probably most upset over the fact that North Korea chose "Independence Day" (or as Kim Jong-il calls it, "Wednesday") to defy them. After a day loaded with patriotic symbolism, including the launch of the space shuttle "Discovery" and the President Bush celebrating his birthday (two days early) with the troops to coincide with the day's festivities; all of a sudden, North Korea comes out nowhere (well, actually Asia) and steals the show, by using America's "Independence Day" for their own propaganda purposes.

The way I see it, this was intended to be more of a "psychological" test than a "technological" one. Sure, their long-range missile may have "failed"; but the damage was still done. Had the test actually succeeded, it would have just been shot down by the United States anyway. So by misfiring or even purposefully crashing the missile immediately after launch, North Korea was able to defy the U.S. while at the same time denying them the opportunity to claim any sort of "moral victory" by bringing down the missile.

From a "propaganda" standpoint, North Korea's missile test was successful because through it they were able to use "Forth of July" against the Bush Administration by turning the holiday into a day of protest against the United States; arguably making this "Independence Day" the most memorable one since the "Bicentennial"... but for all the wrong reasons.

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