"North Korea moved missile to east coast"

Seoul, Apr 4 : Amid growing tension, South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin on Thursday said North Korea has moved an intermediate-range missile to its east coast.

He said the missile was moved for an imminent test firing or military drill.

"In a parliamentary defense committee meeting, Kim refuted media reports that Pyongyang has moved a KN-08 missile, which is believed to have a range of 10,000 kilometers, into position to strike the US," South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported.

Speaking to lawmakers at the meeting, Kim said: "The missile does not seem to be aimed at the U.S. mainland."

"It could be aimed at test firing or military drills," he said.

"Our military has upgraded several systems and carried out drills under upgraded military readiness status," Kim said.

The South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported: "According to intelligence analysis by South Korean and U.S. forces, it is believed to be a Musudan missile, which is estimated to have a range of 3,000-4,000 km, putting the U.S. base in Guam within striking."

Last month, North Korea said it has entered a 'state of war' with South Korea.

Reacting to America's use of nuclear-capable B-2 bombers in joint South Korean military drills, North Korea also threatened to attack the United States military bases in South Korea and Pacific and put its rocket units on standby.

During a meeting with top generals, North Korea's supreme leader Kim Jong Un signed the plan on technical preparations of strategic rockets of the KPA (Korean People's Army), ordering them to be standby for fire so that they may strike any time the U.S. mainland, its military bases in the operational theaters in the Pacific, including Hawaii and Guam, and those in south Korea.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday stressed the current crisis on the Korean peninsula "has already gone too far," following an announcement by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to restart its Yongbyon nuclear reactor, here.

"I am deeply troubled. As Secretary-General, it is my duty to prevent war and to pursue peace. It is also my responsibility to state that the current crisis has already gone too far," Ban said at a news conference during his visit to Andorra.

"Nuclear threats are not a game. Aggressive rhetoric and military posturing only result in counter-actions, and fuel fear and instability."

Ban called for dialogue and negotiations, underlining that this is "the only way to resolve the crisis," and expressed his readiness to help all the parties involved to this end.

--IBNS (Posted on 04-04-2013)

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