North Korea assembling long-range missile, says report

June 3rd, 2009 - 7:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Seoul, June 3 (DPA) An intercontinental missile has been brought to an assembly hall at a new launch site on North Korea’s northwest coast, a South Korean newspaper reported Wednesday.
The missile appeared to be a longer version of the Taepodong 2 rocket that North Korea was believed to have fired April 5, an informed source told the JoongAng Ilbo.

The US fears that if the Taepodong undergoes further technical development, it could be equipped with a nuclear warhead, and could reach western US territory.

Tensions with North Korea escalated after Pyongyang launched a rocket in April and conducted a nuclear test last week, both of which were condemned by the UN Security Council.

Ignoring the criticism, North Korea fired six short-range missiles after the nuclear test, its second after an initial one in 2006, and appeared to be preparing to launch another long-range missile.

South Korean media also reported Tuesday while citing unnamed government officials that North Korea also appeared to be preparing to launch several medium-range missiles from its southeastern coast.

The medium-range missiles are considered threats to South Korea and Japan, which lie in their ranges.

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