Thursday, June 15, 2006

More North Korea missile test news



US warns N Korea on missile test
By Charles Scanlon BBC News, Seoul


The United States has warned it will respond if North Korea goes ahead with a test launch of a new inter-continental ballistic missile.
South Korea also called on the North to halt preparations for a test, saying it would damage regional security.
North Korea last tested a long-range missile in 1998 but it warned last year that it was calling off a self-imposed moratorium on further tests.
The US and Seoul are expressing growing concern about the North's intentions.
The US ambassador to Seoul, Alexander Vershbow, said Washington would respond to a missile test with what he called "appropriate measures".
He told a local radio station that the North's missile technology was a threat to the international community, as well as to north-east Asia.
Diplomats say North Korea has been preparing a possible launch of its new Taepodong 2 missile, which is estimated to have a range of 6,000km (3,500 miles) and to be capable of hitting parts of the United States.
Deadlock
South Korea's Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon also called on the North to halt its preparations. He said a test would seriously damage efforts to resolve the confrontation over the North's nuclear weapons programme.
The diplomatic process has been stalled since last year, when North Korea pulled out of the talks citing American financial pressure.
North Korea may be using the missile threat to try to break the deadlock. Its demands have been largely ignored while Washington has focused on the nuclear challenge from Iran.
Analysts say North Korea already has enough plutonium for about eight nuclear bombs.
It will be much harder to ignore if it can demonstrate a successful delivery system as well.


Story from BBC: US warns N Korea on missile test

More North Korea information:


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Real tests ahead on N Korea deal


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Q&A: N Korea nuclear agreement


Timeline: Nuclear crisis

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