NORTH KOREA SAYS ‘STRIKING MEANS’ ON STANDBY
Jean H. Lee (AP)
Time, April 11, 2013
(PYONGYANG, North Korea) — A North Korean agency that deals with relations with South Korea claims Pyongyang has “powerful striking means” on standby for a launch amid speculation in Seoul and Washington that the country is preparing to test a mid-range missile.
The Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland also said Thursday it has entered coordinates for targets. But it didn’t elaborate on what it meant. The statement follows a recent torrent of warlike rhetoric seen as an effort to raise fears and pressure outside governments into policy changes.
The comments would carry more weight if they came from a military-related agency.
Analysts believe North Korea is extremely unlikely to stage an attack. But outside officials have said Pyongyang appears to be preparing to test-fly a missile that could reach Guam.
As neighboring nations kept a close eye on missile movements in North Korea, people in the country’s capital began celebrating a series of April holidays, including the anniversary Thursday of their leader’s appointment as head of the ruling Worker’s Party.
Bracing for what South Korea’s foreign minister warned could be a test-fire of a medium-range missile, Seoul deployed three naval destroyers, an early warning surveillance aircraft and a land-based radar system, a Defense Ministry official said in Seoul, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with department rules.
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