Thursday, September 23, 2004

North Korea About to Conduct Another Missile Test?

Yomiuri Shimbun has reported that Japanese and U.S. intelligence officials, using satellite images and other methods, have detected the movement of missile units in North Korea around multiple Rodong missile launch sites. [Korea Times: "Seoul Alert for Possible NK's Missile Test"]

The Defense Ministry of South Korea has sought to calm fears. Military spokesman Brig. General Nam Dae-youn suggested that the movements were a part of annual military exercises, but acknowledged that the possibility of a test-firing could not be ignored.

Japan has deployed an Aegis-guided destroyer and some intelligence planes, including the EP-3 to the East Sea between Japan and the Korean peninsula to monitor the situation. North Korea shocked Japan in 1998 by test-firing a missile across Japan and into the Pacific Ocean.

U.S. intelligence is particularly concerned about the possibility of a test of the Taepodong-2 missile. The Taepodong-2 is believed to be capable of striking targets within a range of 3700 miles, thus representing a potential threat to Alaska and Hawaii.

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|| headland, 8:41 AM


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