North Korea moves two more missile launchers: report

SEOUL Sat Apr 20, 2013 11:51pm EDT

Military officials applaud together with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, during the Unhasu concert in Pyongyang, in this picture released by North Korea's KCNA news agency April 16, 2013. REUTERS/KCNA

Military officials applaud together with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, during the Unhasu concert in Pyongyang, in this picture released by North Korea's KCNA news agency April 16, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/KCNA

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea has moved two short-range missile launchers to its east coast, apparently indicating it is pushing ahead with preparations for a test launch, a South Korean news agency reported on Sunday.

South Korea and its allies have been expecting some sort of North Korean missile launch during weeks of heightened hostility on the Korean peninsula.

An unidentified South Korean military source told the South's Yonhap news agency that satellite imagery showed that North Korean forces had moved two mobile missile launchers for short-range Scud missiles to South Hamgyeong province.

"The military is closely watching the North's latest preparations for a missile launch," the source said.

The North moved two mid-range Musudan missiles in early April and placed seven mobile launchers in the same area, Yonhap said. A North Korean show of force could be staged to coincide with the anniversary of the founding of its army on April 25.

A South Korean Defense Ministry official said he could not confirm the news report and said there had been no sign of unusual activity in North Korea. North Korea fairly regularly test-fires short-range missiles in the sea off its east coast.

North Korea stepped up its defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions in December when it launched a rocket that it said had put a scientific satellite into orbit. Critics said the launch was aimed at developing technology to deliver a nuclear warhead mounted on a long-range missile.

The North followed that in February with its third test of a nuclear weapon. That brought new U.N. sanctions which in turn led to a dramatic intensification of North Korea's threats of nuclear strikes against South Korea and the United States.

The tension has eased over recent days with the North at least talking about dialogue in response to calls for talks from both the United States and South Korea.

On Saturday, North Korea reiterated that it would not give up its nuclear weapons, rejecting a U.S. condition for talks although it said it was willing to discuss disarmament.

(Editing by Robert Birsel and Sanjeev Miglani)

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Comments (18)
Aquanut wrote:
I wouldn’t blow the short ranged missile tests out of proportion. Short is short and not a violation of UNSC Resolution 1874.

It’s the BM25 Musudan-ranged rocket and greater ranged rockets which are a concern and violation and justification for current sanctions.

And with respect to the selected photo attached to this article… some of those apparently well fed officers need more practice keeping their clapping in sync with leader. Respects to North Korean peoples.

Apr 21, 2013 1:51am EDT  --  Report as abuse
BiteRight wrote:
Instead of trading rhetoric, at least NK learnt a lesson i.e.’action speaks louder than word’.

Apr 21, 2013 2:00am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Discovery451 wrote:
I guess they know that Japan has enough plutonium for thousands of nuclear weapons from the operation of their 50 nuclear power plants? Tons of it.

Apr 21, 2013 2:26am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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