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N. Korea moves apparent mid-range missile to east coast: Yonhap.

SEOUL, April 4 Kyodo

North Korea has moved an object that appears to be a mid-range missile to its east coast, Yonhap News Agency reported Thursday, citing multiple South Korean government sources.

"South Korea and the U.S. intelligence authorities have detected signs that North Korea moved an object seen as a mid-range missile to its east coast," one of the sources was quoted as saying.

Intelligence analysis has shown that the missile is believed to be a mid-range "Musudan"-level missile, the source said. The object is believed to have been moved by train.

Yonhap said a Musudan missile has a maximum range of 4,000 kilometers, meaning it could strike Guam. As of 2009, 50 Musudan missiles have been deployed in North Korea, said Yonhap. The country has yet to launch a Musudan missile.

South Korea and U.S. intelligence authorities are keeping a close watch on the Musudan missile in the belief that North Korea may launch it around April 15, the birthday of Kim Il Sung, the late founder of North Korea and grandfather of current leader Kim Jong Un.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Defense Department said Wednesday it will deploy a land-based missile defense system to Guam in the coming weeks "as a precautionary move" to strengthen its regional defense posture against the threat of North Korean ballistic missiles.

The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System, or THAAD, features a truck-mounted launcher, a complement of interceptor missiles, a tracking radar and an integrated fire control system, the department said in a statement.

"This deployment will strengthen defense capabilities for American citizens in the U.S. territory of Guam and U.S. forces stationed there," the statement said.

"The United States remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations and stands ready to defend U.S. territory, our allies and our national interests," it added.
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Publication:Asian Political News
Date:Apr 8, 2013
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