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Russia Claims Success With Strategic Missile Tests

File photo: Russian President Vladimir Putin and Defence Minister Sergey Ivanov watch an intercontinental missile test, 18th August, 2005. Photo courtesy of AFP.
by Staff Writers
Moscow (AFP) Sep 10, 2006
Russia has conducted several successful intercontinental missile tests from nuclear submarines, Defence Minister Sergey Ivanov told President Vladimir Putin on Sunday. "The navy's strategic and nuclear forces had planned to carry out some major exercises in the first half of September. They were successfully completed today," said Ivanov in a televised declaration to the president.

The minister said a nuclear-propelled submarine had fired an intercontinental missile from the North Pole to a target in the Arkhangelsk region in the far north-east of Russia.

This meant it had achieved the minimum distance of 2,600 kilometres (1,600 miles) required to qualify as a strategic or intercontinental missile, he added.

A second missile was fired at the same target from a submarine stationed in the Pacific, he said.

On Thursday the defence ministry announced that a test firing of a strategic missile from a nuclear submarine had failed.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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Economic Reforms Are Changing Hardline North Korea Some Say
Seoul (AFP) Sep 10, 2006
While missile tests and nuclear weapons fill the headlines on North Korea, economic reforms introduced quietly four years ago are bringing about changes in the hardline communist state, analysts say. Reforms have progressed much further than previously recognized and as a result any collapse of the regime triggered by internal factors is "highly unlikely," US banking group Citigroup said in a July report.

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