News24

N Korea claims its missiles can reach US

2012-10-09 07:56

Seoul - North Korea said on Tuesday it possessed rockets capable of striking the US mainland, as it slammed a new US-South Korean deal to extend the range of the South's missile systems.

A National Defence Commission spokesperson cited by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) also said Pyongyang would retaliate "in kind" to any US or South Korean nuclear or missile attack.

The warnings came two days after South Korea announced an agreement with the United States to almost triple the range of its missiles to cover the whole of North Korea.

The spokesperson said the North's military, including "strategic rocket forces", had a "scope of strike" that not only covered US and South Korean bases in South Korea, "but also Japan, Guam and the US mainland".

South Korean analysts largely dismissed the claim as military bluster, saying there was no evidence the North had obtained a working inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) since a failed rocket launch in April.

North Korea is known to have an ICBM in development - the Taepodong-2 - but it has never been tested successfully.

Mock-ups

Pyongyang said April's failed rocket launch was a bid to put a satellite into orbit.

The United States and United Nations insisted it was a disguised ballistic missile test using a three-stage variant of the Taepodong-2.

Days after April's failure, North Korea raised eyebrows by displaying what appeared to be a new set of ICBMs at a military parade to mark the 100th birthday of the North's late founder Kim Il-Sung.

But Western military analysts and UN sanctions experts concluded that the display models were simply mock-ups.

"There is no evidence that North Korea has succeeded in tests of a missile with a range long enough to hit the US mainland," said Yun Duk-Min, a professor at Korea National Diplomatic Academy.

Yun suggested the claim was made to strengthen the North's reaction to the new US-South Korea missile deal and boost military morale under new leader Kim Jong-Un.

'Conspiracy of the master'


The new agreement with the United States - announced on Sunday - allows the South to deploy missiles with a range of 800km, up from the current limit of 300km.

The extension not only brings the whole of North Korea within reach of Seoul's rockets, but also parts of China and Japan.

The US stations 28 500 troops in South Korea and guarantees a nuclear "umbrella" in case of any atomic attack. In return, Seoul accepts limits on its missile capabilities.

The North's National Defence Commission spokesperson said the missile deal was "another conspiracy of the master and the stooge to push the situation on the Korean Peninsula to the extreme... and ignite a war".

He also stressed the desire of the North Korean army and people to "feel the real taste of a war".

Baek Seung-Joo, at the Korea Institute for Defence Analyses, said Sunday's missile announcement had clearly come as a "shock" to Pyongyang.

"It means the South would be able to mount pre-emptive, surgical strikes on any of the nine North Korean missile bases if necessary."

Comments
  • DSBennie - 2012-10-09 08:05

    mmmm so they can have missiles that can reach America (9600km away) but the South may not have missiles with a measly range of 800km

      customdesign - 2012-10-09 08:13

      They don't really have- go check their rocket launches- most of them are failures. I don't think North Korea's Missiles can even go 50km, unless they are carrying the rocket around on a boat or truck. I think it's time for a Team America 2 now that Kim Jon Un has succeeded his father.

  • neill.mackenzie.3 - 2012-10-09 08:16

    NORTH KOREA IS BEST KOREA!!!! whahahahaha, bunch of clowns!

      johan.louw.399 - 2012-10-09 18:47

      Last time the rocket could not make it off the ground HA ,HA ,HA. I agree "bunch of FAT clowns"!

  • PAP - 2012-10-09 08:25

    Taepodong-2 <--- improved version? Still sounds a bit short ranged to me.

      richard.bosmano - 2012-10-09 08:36

      hmmmm .....does sort of sound like a tadpole,poor little fellas

  • johan.harlaar.9 - 2012-10-09 08:32

    And then? A 3rd world war with North Korea as masters? We end up all eating dogs. It's balony, maybe dog polony. What about world peace? That would be a good target.

  • ashley.stroebel - 2012-10-09 08:33

    Damn koreans and their short missiles ...wink wink lol

  • sekwati.robinson - 2012-10-09 08:36

    fot the sake of its citizens I urge North Korea to stick to kicking each other(karate) rather than intigating war with the US...we know both possess illegal missiles and bombs...world warIII

      PAP - 2012-10-09 08:52

      Sekwati = what "illegal" missles?

  • sugardick.dupree - 2012-10-09 08:56

    North Korea is probably the only country that makes US army generals crap in their pants. North Korea is much, much more powerful than Iran (which is a SERIOUSLY powerful and VERY capable army), that's why you never hear US generals talk sh*t about NK.\r\nNorth Korean, Chinese and Iranian engineers are working with Zimbabwe's army on a range of short range SAMs (surface to air missiles), HUGE howitzer guns and Multiple Rocket Launcher trucks. I think Zimbabwe now possesses the capability to shoot down any object that's within 350km - 450km. I heard this from a very reliable source.

      andre.dekock.71 - 2012-10-09 09:35

      Working with Zimbabwe's army-Zimbabwe has a working army?

  • david.boswel - 2012-10-09 08:56

    Nah WW3 wont happen over North-Korea. The only way that will happen is if China enters the conflictt, but recent studies show that China will stay out of it as North-Korea has nothing to offer China anymore.

  • sugardick.dupree - 2012-10-09 08:57

    North Korea is probably the only country that makes US army generals crap in their pants. North Korea is much, much more powerful than Iran (which is a SERIOUSLY powerful and VERY capable army), that's why you never hear US generals talk sh*t about NK.\r\nNorth Korean, Chinese and Iranian engineers are working with Zimbabwe's army on a range of short range SAMs (surface to air missiles), HUGE howitzer guns and Multiple Rocket Launcher trucks. I think Zimbabwe now possesses the capability to shoot down any object that's within 350km - 450km. I heard this from a very reliable source.

      gerhard.kress.3 - 2012-10-09 09:14

      Iran would not last more than 1 day against the US. So said an iranian general recently.

      Stlouis Heidtmann - 2012-10-09 09:15

      hahahahha zimbabwe thats the joke of the week

      nicky.saaiman.1 - 2012-10-09 10:19

      Zim ha ha china not ha ha

  • obadia.segwape - 2012-10-09 09:06

    viva war viva AGH FOETSEK

      nicky.saaiman.1 - 2012-10-09 10:16

      No comment to stupidity. Do you know what war is. It is not back stabbing at your local shebeen.

  • zebsonm - 2012-10-09 09:37

    mock-ups on both sides i suppose,we have heard this upgrade of s.korea missiles and defences on numerous times and one thing has happened everytime -no pulling of the trigger.now hear this version 'the 800km range which can reach both china and yes japan'.seems to me someone is trying to hit several birds with one missile.the usa is simply trying or is succeding to sow enough mistrust in the region for its own good.poor asians, their differences are by far more important than their common good.

  • arthur.salvado - 2012-10-09 10:01

    As the saying goes " you play with fire, you burn yourself". Beware USA . For the skeptical, don't laugh. Yanks had they butts seriously kicked the last time they took on the North Koreans. Don't get me wrong, I'm no fan of the NK (dog eating scum bags) but loyalty aside, they are no walk over and the USA knows it and therefor, apart from sanctions, no military action. The same goes for Iran. What you hear is all journalistic propaganda propagated by the USA government in conjunction with others. Simply put, the world cannot afford THAT war.

  • michael.a.devilliers - 2012-10-09 10:39

    If these were even considered a threat North Korea wouldn't be on the map anymore.

  • kelly.dini - 2012-10-09 13:04

    In war, TRUTH is the first casualty...

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