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Official: North Korea Fueling ICBM

Posted June. 19, 2006 03:02,   


The Korean government is taking emergency countermeasures after judging that the injection of liquid fuel in Taepodong 2 or the multiple stage Taepodong 2 missile is a suggestion of an impending launch off.

A government official said, “We think North Korea has poured liquid fuel into the missile propellant built in the missile launching pad at Musudan-ri in northern Hamgyong Province,” adding that “it is at the finishing stage before launching.” Injecting liquid fuel is the stage right before launching a missile, and therefore is interpreted as the most certain indication of a launch.

But the government has said that they have not been able to get a final confirmation whether the process of injecting liquid fuel has been completed. In the case that the missile is not launched within 48 hours after injecting fuel in the missile propellant, the fuel causes the propellant to corrode, so if the missile is not to be launched, the fuel must be removed.

The U.S. government plans for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to make diplomatic visits to Korea, China and Japan in order to discuss North Korea’s missile launch issue with the three countries.

Ahead of this, the New York Times reported on June 17 that in a telephone conversation, U.S. President George W. Bush had requested to Chinese President Hu Jintao that “Beijing use its influence to stop North Korea’s missile test.” The Japanese newspaper, Sankei Shimbun reported on June 18 that North Korea instructed its people to raise the national flag at 2:00 p.m. and listen to a message to the people that night.