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N. Korea Preparing to Conduct Missile Test

Posted February. 04, 2009 08:54,   


North Korea appears to be preparing to test-fire a long-range missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, government officials in Seoul said yesterday.

The move is the latest in a series of saber rattling moves by Pyongyang.

The chief of the General Staff of the North`s Korean People`s Army last month made a declaration of an all-out confrontational posture against Seoul, and the North’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland threatened to scrap all inter-Korean peace accords Friday.

South Korean and U.S. intelligence said a U.S. spy satellite detected a train carrying a cylinder-like object believed to be a long-range missile on its way to a launch base.

One source said, “The object was covered, so South Korean and U.S. intelligence are trying to see if it is a long-range missile.”

Given the length, however, the object is believed to be a Taepodong-2 missile with a range of 4,300 to 6,000 kilometers.

The missile was spotted at Dongchang-ri, Cholsan in North Pyongan Province, where a new launch base is located, according to a Seoul government source quoted by a Japanese newspaper.

Another high-ranking South Korean government source denied the report, however, saying, “The Dongchang-ri base is not yet complete. The indication of the North’s new missile test was detected not at the Dongchang-ri base, but at a different long-range missile base.”

Though the source refused to elaborate on the site, experts say the launch base is Musudan-ri on the east coast, where the North test-fired a Taepodong-2 missile in July 2006.