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North Korea missile test: South pre-empts dates

Last Updated: Monday, April 22, 2013 - 12:33

Zee Media Bureau

Seoul: With North Korea preparing for a missile test after having warned South and the US, Seoul has no options other than remaining alert and pre-empting the dates for Pyongyang’s missile test.

After no missile test detected on April 15, South Korean’s Defence Ministry now says THAT Pyongyang could launch missile tests on three important days in coming months.

Defence Ministry spokesman Kim Min-Seok identified three upcoming dates, including the April 25 founding anniversary of the Korean People`s Army and April 30 -- the final day of ongoing South-US military exercises.

One other possibility, Kim said, was the July 27 anniversary of the armistice that ended the 1950-53 Korean War.

"These are three potential dates ... but no one can predict exactly what direction the North will take," he said.

After a phase of daily threats and hostile acts by North Korea in last few weeks, North Korea yesterday moved two more missile launchers to its east coast. It has earlier moved seven missile launchers believed to be for Scud missiles or Musudan missile.

Angered by fresh UN sanctions triggered by its third nuclear test in February and joint South Korea-US military exercises, the North has for weeks been issuing threats of missile strikes and nuclear war.

Even though Pyongyang didn’t test any missile on the much expected date, that is, April 15 being Kim Il-Sung anniversary, Seoul is very positive about the prospects of a test in coming days.

A Seoul defence ministry spokesman said Thursday that the possibility of a test involving shorter-range Scud, mid-range Musudan, or long-range Rodong missiles remained.

However, US President Barack Obama has expressed doubt over the North`s capabilities, saying last week he did not believe Pyongyang could yet arm a missile with a nuclear warhead.

With AFP Inputs

First Published: Monday, April 22, 2013 - 09:43
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