North Korea could be planning missile launch, official says

Posted: April 4, 2013 in The End Is Nigh
Tags: , ,

From CNN

 North Korea, which unleashed another round of scathing rhetoric accusing the United States of pushing the region to the “brink of war,” could be planning a missile launch soon, a U.S. official said Thursday.

Communications intercepts in recent days indicated that Pyongyang could be planning to launch a mobile ballistic missile in the coming days or weeks, the official said.

The news emerged as South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin told a parliamentary committee in Seoul that the North has moved a medium-range missile to its east coast for an imminent test firing or military drill.

The missile doesn’t appear to be aimed at the U.S. mainland, Kim said, according to the semi-official South Korean news agency Yonhap.

Wednesday, the United States announced it was sending ballistic missile defenses to Guam, a Western Pacific territory that’s home to U.S. naval and air bases.North Korea has cited those bases among possible targets for missile attacks. The latest tough talk from Pyongyang addressed the military presence in the region.

The latest developments come amid the disclosure of what one U.S. official calls an Obama administration “playbook” of pre-scripted actions and responses to the last several weeks of North Korean rhetoric and provocations.

A spokesman for a North Korean group accused the United States of “hurling” its “nuclear war hardware into the region and pushing the situation on the brink of war,” Pyongyang’s official news agency reported.

“The U.S. imperialists have pursued ceaseless war moves since their occupation of South Korea, creating a touch-and-go situation several times. But never have they worked so desperately to launch a nuclear war against the DPRK with all type latest nuclear hardware involved as now,” a spokesman for the National Peace Committee of Korea said in a statement. The DPRK stands for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

The statement said the United States is “seriously mistaken if it thinks it can frighten the DPRK with such latest weapons.” It said “the country will no longer remain a passive onlooker to the U.S. imperialists’ frantic moves to ignite a nuclear war.

“Cutting-edge weapons are not a monopoly of the U.S. and gone are the days never to return when it could invade other countries with nukes as it pleased,” the statement said. “The U.S. and the South Korean warmongers had better stop their rash actions, deeply aware of the gravity of the prevailing situation.”

The movement of missiles

Key dates in U.S. military moves near North Korea

The movement of the North Korean missile is “of concern, certainly to the U.S. military and to Japan,” said Mark Fitzpatrick, director of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Program at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London.

He said he believed the missile in question was a Musudan, a weapon the North hasn’t tested before that is based on a Soviet system with a range of about 2,400 kilometers (1,500 miles), far enough to reach Japan but not Guam.

The U.S. military, which has a string of bases and thousands of troops in Japan, has already moved two warships and a sea-based radar platform closer to the Korean Peninsula to monitor possible missile activity, U.S. defense officials said earlier this week.

“The concerning development is if they test a Musudan and it works, then they have a new proven system that could reach anywhere in Japan,” Fitzpatrick said.

Another worry is that the missile’s test flight could pass over Japan, straining nerves in an already jittery region.

North Korea isn’t believed to have an operational missile that can reach the U.S. mainland at the moment.

The medium-range missile will probably take about two weeks to prepare, Fitzpatrick said, which means a potential launch could coincide with the April 15 anniversary of the the birth of Kim Il Sung, the founder of North Korea and grandfather of its current leader, Kim Jong Un.

Known as “the Day of the Sun,” Kim Il Sung’s birthday is a major public holiday in North Korea that is usually accompanied by large-scale parades.

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Comments
  1. THIS IS ARR ONRY FOR SERF DEFENSE AGAINST THREAT FROM IMPERIARIST AMERICA! THE DEMOCRATIC PEOPRE’S REPUBRIC OF KOREA IS A PEACEFUR NATION!

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