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N. Korea missile test could take months: South
by Staff Writers
Seoul (AFP) April 22, 2013


The wait for North Korea's expected missile test, which has kept South Korean and US forces on heightened alert for the past two weeks, may stretch to July, the South's defence ministry said Monday.

South Korean intelligence says the North has moved a number of ballistic missiles and missile launchers to its east coast in apparent preparations for a launch amid simmering tensions on the Korean peninsula.

The North has a habit of linking high-profile military tests with key dates, and many experts had predicted a test on or around April 15 -- the birth of North Korea's late founding leader Kim Il-Sung.

Defence Ministry spokesman Kim Min-Seok identified three upcoming dates, including the April 25 founding anniversary of the Korean People's Army and April 30 -- the final day of ongoing South-US military exercises.

One other possibility, Kim said, was the July 27 anniversary of the armistice that ended the 1950-53 Korean War.

"These are three potential dates ... but no one can predict exactly what direction the North will take," he said.

The test is expected to be that of a Musudan missile, which has an estimated range of 2,500 to 4,000 kilometres (2,500 miles), enough to reach South Korea and Japan and potentially US military bases on the Pacific island of Guam.

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NUKEWARS
N. Korea-US diplomacy: the art of the not very possible
Seoul (AFP) April 19, 2013
The focus of weeks of hostile rhetoric on the Korean peninsula has shifted from nuclear war to dialogue, but analysts warn the road to formal talks is longer and more challenging than it has ever been. So challenging, in fact, that some experts believe dialogue is not even a realistic option given that North Korea is as committed to its demand for recognition as a nuclear power as the United ... read more


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