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`North Korea highly likely to launch missile'

Seoul, April 10, 2013, (IANS) : 12:22 IST
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North Korea is highly likely to launch mid-range missiles "at any time from now on", said South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se Wednesday.

"According to intelligence collected by our side and the US, possibility for North Korea's missile launch is very high," Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se said at a parliamentary meeting for foreign affairs and unification. "The possibility can be realized at any time from now on."

The missiles were estimated to be a new type of 'Musudan' missile, Yun said, noting that "the missile has a range of around 3,500 km. How far the missile will reach depends on North Korea", reported Xinhua.

On April 4, Defence Minister Kim Kwan-jin told lawmakers that North Korea moved intermediate-range missiles to its east coast.

The missiles, estimated to be 'Musudan' that could reach the US military base in Guam, were believed to be mounted on mobile launchers known as the transporter-erector-launcher (TEL).

The missiles may be fired around April 15 when Pyongyang celebrates the birthday of Kim Il-sung, North Korea's founder and the late grandfather of the current leader Kim Jung-un.

Yun warned that if the North Korea launches the missiles, the UN Security Council will be convened automatically as the UN resolutions have banned Pyongyang from conducting a ballistic missile test.

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