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Another Missile Launch by North Korea

Posted May. 31, 2008 03:15,   


At around 12:30 p.m. on Friday, North Korea launched one missile on Cho Island near Nampo City in South Pyongan Province.

The missile was launched two months after North Korea launched three short-range missiles mobilizing naval vessels in the same region on March 28.

A government source said, “It is difficult to disclose the type and the point of impact of the missile launched by North Korea because it can reveal how we obtained the information. We are closely watching the moves of the North Korean forces while simultaneously investigating whether the missile launch was part of regular training or was for pressuring South Korea.”

According to a military source, the missile is either the same type as the Soviet-made Styx surface-to-surface missile with a 40 kilometer-range launched in March or a short-range missile of a similar sort.

Cho Island is the location of a missile test launch base.

Another government official said, “It seems that North Korean forces launched the missile to create military tension and anxiety near the Northern Limit Line (NLL). It appears that North Korea’s militarists who are recently maintaining a strong stance toward South Korea are the ones who guided the missile launch.”

Some analyze that North Korea intended to pressure the United States within the frame of the six-party talks, reasoning that the missile was launched when North Korea and the United States came across a point of disagreement in disabling nuclear facilities.

Others view that North Korea intended to disrupt the popular opinion of South Korean society inflicted with confusion over the import of U.S. beef.

In the same context some have analyzed that North Korea intended to intensify pressure on South Korea by crossing the NLL with its defense ships four times this year.

Since the end of March, North Korea has continued to increase pressure on the South. On the day of the missile launch, it published a bitter editorial in North Korea`s official newspaper Rodong Shinmun, and sent an equally severe telegraph notification to South Korea from its military authority.

Korean Central News Agency, the official news agency of the North Korean government, reported on Friday that Commander Park Rim Su, the North Korean chief delegate of the inter-Korean working-level military talks, sent a telegraph notification to the South reading: “The Lee Myung-bak government is mobilizing forces and right-wing anti-communist groups to spread anti-republic fly sheets that viciously denounce and slander our regime and system.”

In the notification, Park decried South Korea saying, “The decision to halt all psychological warfare including the distribution of fly sheets and to put an end to all hostile behavior was a military agreement signed by both sides at the inter-Korean military talks for the fulfillment of the June 15 South-North Joint Declaration and the October 4 Declaration.”

On the same day Rodong Shinmun published an editorial entitled “Condemnation on the anti-national pragmatism of the South Korean regime” and criticized the details of the Lee Myung-bak government’s policies on North Korea. It wrote “such pragmatism will never bring about any solution to inter-Korean relations.”