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Long-Range North Korean Missile Fell After Two Kilometers

File photo: A North Korean Taepodong missile.
by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) Sept 1, 2006
A North Korean ballistic missile theoretically capable of reaching US territory fell into the sea after flying just two kilometers during a test launch last month, a report said Friday. Pyongyang on July 5 test-fired six short and mid-range missiles and one long-range missile, the Taepodong-2. All of them fell harmlessly in the Sea of Japan.

Initial analysis by the Japanese government had shown the Taepodong-2 flew about 400 kilometers (250 miles), but the latest analysis showed that the missile fell in the Sea of Japan (East Sea) close to the east coast of North Korea, the Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported, citing government sources.

Japanese and US satellite data showed missile parts scattered around the North Korean missile base, indicating it started to break apart immediately after it was launched, the report said.

But the short- and middle-range missile launches prove that Pyongyang has achieved a certain level of technology, it said.

The UN Security Council condemned the missile tests and adopted a resolution imposing weapons-related sanctions on Pyongyang.

Japan and the United States have stepped up efforts to build missile defenses after North Korea's test launches.

Japan on Wednesday launched its sixth Aegis destroyer, which will be fitted with anti-missile capabilities next year. Its Defense Agency requested a more than 50 percent rise in its missile defense budget for the fiscal year to March 2008.

Activity Spotted At North Korean Missile Site But No Indication Of Test

Seoul (AFP) Sept 3 - Vehicle movements have been spotted at North Korea's key missile base but there is no indication the communist state is preparing for another missile test, a senior defense official said Sunday.

Intelligence authorities detected the movements in and around Gitdaeryeong on the southeast coast where six ballistic missiles were test-fired two months ago, the official said on condition of anonymity.

"Trucks, which were brought in for the test-firing of missiles in July, still stay there and move around," he told AFP, playing down a news report linking the activity to possible preparations for new tests.

"No new vehicles have been brought in there. We don't take it as an indication that North Korea is preparing for more missile tests."

Yonhap news agency earlier said the movements spotted by military intelligence officials at Gitdaeryeong could presage more missile tests.

North Korea test-launched seven missiles -- including six short- and medium-range missiles from the Gitdaeryeong site -- into the Sea of Japan (East Sea) on July 5, sparking international condemnation.

The UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution imposing missile-related sanctions on North Korea, but Pyongyang immediately rejected it and threatened stronger action.

South Korean officials have expressed concern about the possibility of further missile tests or an underground nuclear test.

Pyongyang said in February 2005 that it had built nuclear weapons but there have been no reports of any nuclear test.

The United States successfully tested its missile defense system, designed partially to guard against any North Korean missile attacks, over the Pacific on Friday.

North Korea on Saturday accused the United States of threatening war by carrying out the test and by conducting joint military exercises with the South.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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Asian Arms Race Would Follow A North Korea Nuke Test
Washington (AFP) Sep 03, 2006
A nuclear weapons test by North Korea would create tensions between Western powers and China, destabilize financial markets and trigger an arms race in Northeast Asia, a US study warns.

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