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Thread: North Korea fires missiles into sea: report

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    Default North Korea fires missiles into sea: report

    North Korea fires missiles into sea: report

    By Jack Kim October 7, 2008

    SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea has fired two short-range missiles into the Yellow Sea, a news report said on Wednesday, in a move likely aimed at dialing up tension as global powers try to have it abide by a nuclear disarmament deal.

    The North fired the missiles into the Yellow Sea on Tuesday as a part of routine military training, South Korea's Yonhap news agency cited an unidentified government official as saying.

    The North, however, has a history of timing its missile launches to periods of increased tension in the region in saber-rattling bids aimed to show that it is ready to take a hard and defiant line, analysts have said.

    "We understand North Korea fired two short-range missiles in the afternoon of (October) 7th into the (Yellow) Sea," Yonhap quoted an unidentified South Korean official as saying.

    "North Korea declared a no-sail order in the (Yellow Sea) before the missile launch," the official said.

    South Korean defense officials would not confirm the report.

    The U.S. administration declined to discuss intelligence on the reported North Korean missile firing but said its concerns were long-standing and well documented.

    "North Korea's development, deployment and proliferation of missiles and missile-related materials, equipment and technology pose a threat to the region and the world," a U.S. Defense Department spokesman said.

    North Korea maintains an arsenal of missiles that can hit all of South Korea and most parts of Japan. In recent months, it has been upgrading its launch sites, local media reported intelligence sources as saying.

    Last week, a senior U.S. diplomat went to Pyongyang in a bid to convince North Korea to return to a disarmament-for-aid deal and halt it plans to restart it Soviet-era nuclear plant that makes bomb grade plutonium.

    U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill has declined to say if he made progress in his talks that were focused on having secretive North Korea agree to a system to verify checks it made about its nuclear arms program.

    The nuclear agreement North Korea struck with the five regional powers in February 2007 seemed in peril after Pyongyang, angry at not being removed from a U.S. terrorism blacklist, vowed last month to rebuild the aging Yongbyon nuclear plant.

    Washington said it would take the North off the terrorism list, bringing economic and diplomatic benefits, once a system had been agreed to verify its nuclear claims.

    A senior Vienna diplomat familiar with North Korea and U.N. monitoring there said Hill probably received a significant proposal from the North Koreans, who may be trying to squeeze concessions from the Bush administration before it leaves office.

    "But knowing how late it is in the current administration and the ill-will that's been generated between the two sides because of the current impasse, it would not be a surprise to discover that the proposal will make many key players in Washington very uncomfortable, and could well be a non-starter," the diplomat said.

    "They have only one card to play at this point -- increasing tension," the diplomat said before the reports of the missile launch.

    http://www.boston.com/news/world/asi...to_sea_report/

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    Default Re: North Korea fires missiles into sea: report

    N.Korea ‘to Test More Missiles’

    South Korean military authorities are on alert after reports that North Korea is gearing up to fire several more short-range surface-to-ship and ship-to-ship missiles. Agents say some dozen KN-01 surface-to-ship and Styx ship-to-ship missiles are deployed ready for firing in an area near Chodo, North Hwanghae Province. It would be an unprecedented number of missile tests if the North fires all of them. In 2006, North Korea tested seven, but they were medium- and long-range ballistic missiles. The KN-01, an improved version of the Chinese Silkworm missile, has a range of 110 to 120 km. The Styx has a range of 46 to 50 km.

    Meanwhile, there is speculation that the North fired air-to-ship missiles from an IL-28 bomber on Tuesday, not surface-to-ship or ship-to-ship missiles as is widely believed.

    Intelligence authorities here seem to think North Korea will fire at least five to seven missiles, given that a navigation ban in waters in the area holds until Oct. 15 and the North is still ordering ships to move elsewhere.

    South Korean military authorities speculate that the missile tests are some kind of response to South Korea's large-scale celebrations of the 60th anniversary of its armed forces, including the Navy's latest international fleet review.

    A South Korean military source said, "North Korea fired surface-to-ship missiles last year when we launched our first Aegis-equipped King Sejong the Great class destroyer" and such a response is therefore in character.

    http://english.chosun.com/w21data/ht...810090001.html

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