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NK Has 500 Mid- and Long-range Missiles

Posted September. 13, 2002 22:50,   


Ryan Laport, Commander in Chief of the UN Command and the US said yesterday that North Korea possesses at least mid- and long-range missiles.

He attended a press conference held yesterday morning at the Hyatt Hotel, downtown Seoul. He also added that the US military stationed in Korea is equipped with defensive patriot missiles to intercept North Korean missiles and offensive missile system as well so that it can attack missile storages and military bases in North Korea in an emergency.

Although the number of missiles possessed by North Korea has been known at some degree among military officials, but it is unusual that a head of the US military in Korea made it public. By the 500 missiles, Laport means the missiles that can have devastating impact on South Korea among 1,000 missiles possessed by North Korea.

Regarding negotiations on the Northern Limit Line, he maintained his position that both Koreas should address this issue without intervention of the UN Command (UNC) since it is a territorial issue of South Korea. But he added that the UN Command is ready to open dialogue with North Korea in order to prevent armed conflict from occurring on the East and West Sea.

He said that the UN Command and the US military in Korea would ensure firm security posture to help two Koreas to promote inter-Korean exchanges and successfully complete the cross-border railroads and roads. He emphasized that US military bases near the Demilitarized Zone would be put on a higher alert during the construction period and inter-Korean negotiations.

Sang-Ho Yun ysh1005@donga.com