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North Korea likely to test-launch missile

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A North Korean vehicle carrying a new missile passes by during a mass military parade in Pyongyang to celebrate the centenary of the birth of the late North Korean founder Kim Il Sung, April 15, 2013.

The South Korean government says North Korea is likely to test-launch a missile this week.

Kim Jang-Soo, director of national security for South Korean President Park Geun-Hye, said on Sunday that Pyongyang “may launch a provocation, such as missile launch,” around April 10.

“There are no signs of a full-scale war as of now, but the North will have to prepare for retaliation in case of any local war,” Kim added.

North Korea moved a second medium-range missile to its eastern coast on Friday, one day after it deployed a Musudan to the same coast, with the missile reportedly facing Japan.

The Musudan is believed to have an intended range of about 3,000 kilometers. It could theoretically hit a target within 4,000 kilometers with a light payload.

Reports say that the missile could cover any target in Japan and South Korea and even reach US military bases on the Pacific island of Guam.

The Pentagon said on April 3 that it would deploy an advanced anti-missile system to Guam to protect the US military bases and the 6,000 American military personnel there.

War of words escalated after the participation of the United States’ nuclear-capable B-52s and B-2 stealth bombers in its joint military drills with South Korea.

On Thursday, the North Korean army said a preemptive nuclear war with the United States “could break out today or tomorrow,” warning the US to “ponder over the prevailing grave situation.”

Earlier in the day, the North Korean army said it had received final approval for a nuclear attack on the US in response to Washington’s threats.


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