North Korea hides two missiles on east coast: report

SEOUL Fri Apr 5, 2013 3:51am EDT

A North Korean soldier films military vehicles carrying missiles during a parade to commemorate the 65th anniversary of founding of the Workers' Party of Korea in Pyongyang October 10, 2010. REUTERS/Petar Kujundzic

A North Korean soldier films military vehicles carrying missiles during a parade to commemorate the 65th anniversary of founding of the Workers' Party of Korea in Pyongyang October 10, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Petar Kujundzic

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea has placed two of its intermediate range missiles on mobile launchers and hidden them on the east coast of the country, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported on Friday, citing intelligence sources in South Korea.

The report could not be confirmed, but may be intended to demonstrate a threat by the North to either Japan or to U.S. bases on Guam. The North has threatened to attack bases on Guam if the United States launches a strike on it.

"Early this week, the North has moved two Musudan missiles on the train and placed them on mobile launchers," Yonhap cited a senior military official familiar with the matter as saying.

South Korea's Defence Ministry declined to comment on the report.

There were unconfirmed media reports that the North had moved missiles to the east coast on Thursday, although it was not clear what kind of missiles had been deployed.

Speculation has centered on two kinds of missiles neither of which is known to have been tested.

One was the so-called Musudan missile which South Korea's Defence Ministry estimates has a range of up to 3,000 km (1,865 miles), the other is called the KN-08, which is believed to be an inter-continental ballistic missile, which is again untested.

South Korea's defence minister has said he does not believe the missile that was moved was the KN-08.

North Korea has slowly and steadily improved its missile capabilities in recent years and U.S. officials say its missiles may be capable of hitting outlying U.S. territories and states, including Guam, Alaska and Hawaii.

Some private experts say even this view is alarmist.

There is no evidence, the officials say, that North Korea has tested the complex art of miniaturizing a nuclear weapon to be placed on a long-range missile, a capability the United States, Russia, China and others achieved decades ago.

North Korea has been engaged in month-long war of words with the United States and South Korea in the wake of Washington-led sanctions imposed for its February nuclear test.

It has threatened to stage a nuclear strike on the United States, to attack bases on Guam and said a state of war exists on the Korean peninsula.

(Reporting by David Chance; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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Comments (3)
Yamayoko wrote:
This maybe the tip of an iceberg. I am afraid more of the same kind are hidden in bunker, including their nuke arsenal. South Korea and the U.S. should contemplate decimating N.Korea’s warheads before they rain down on Seoul.

Apr 05, 2013 5:02am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Rich_F wrote:
north korea isn’t going to do anything. they’re blustering as usual. if they decide to take real action instead of talk than south korea alone could squash them. until i see real action and not words (and i do hope this never happens) there is nothing to see.

Apr 05, 2013 8:18am EDT  --  Report as abuse
surgednb wrote:
If we know about the missiles, it isn’t really hiding them, now is it…

Apr 05, 2013 4:54pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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