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US warns N.Korea amid reports of rocket test

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Unfazed by international anger at its second nuclear bomb test, a defiant North Korea was said Saturday to be preparing to launch a long-range missile.

The United States stressed it would not accept the North as a nuclear-armed state and warned that more atomic tests could spark an arms race in East Asia.

“A train carrying a long-range missile has been spotted at the weapons research centre near Pyongyang,” South Korea’s Yonhap news agency quoted an intelligence source as saying.


The source said it may be a modified version of a Taepodong-2, which the North tested in 2006 and in April and which is theoretically capable of reaching Alaska.

“It usually takes about two months to set up a launch pad, but the process could be done in as little as two weeks, which means the North could launch a long-range missile as early as mid-June,” the source said.

Yonhap quoted a presidential official as saying the North may schedule a launch to coincide with a June 16 summit between South Korean President Lee Mying-Bak and US President Barack Obama in Washington.

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This article was posted: Saturday, May 30, 2009 at 5:49 am

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