Skip to comments.(LEAD) N. Korea loads two medium-range missiles on mobile launchers
Posted on 04/05/2013 12:17:22 AM PDT by Jet Jaguar
North Korea has loaded two intermediate-range missiles onto mobile launchers and hidden them in an unidentified facility near the east coast, Seoul military sources said Friday, triggering speculation that the North is ready for an abrupt missile launch.
Earlier this week, the communist state had moved the "Musudan" medium-range missiles to its east coast, prompting the United States to send its advanced missile defense system to its base on the Pacific Ocean island of Guam.
South Korea has also sent its Aegis destroyers equipped with advanced radar systems to the East and West Seas.
South Korean and U.S. intelligence officials have been closely monitoring the North Korean facility believed to contain the Musudan missiles on the TELs (transporter-erector-launcher). The missile can fly 3,000-4,000 kilometers and is capable of hitting the U.S. base in Guam in the Pacific Ocean.
"Early this week, the North has moved two Musudan missiles on the train and placed them on mobile launchers," a senior military official familiar with the knowledge of the matter said.
The North's concealing the missiles atop the mobile launcher platform is seen as an attempt to launch missiles in a surprise move, the official said, noting it was not clear whether the move is for a test firing or military drills. The isolated communist nation has not yet conducted a test firing of the Musudan missile, which was first revealed to the international community in October 2010 during a military parade in Pyongyang.
On Thursday, CNN reported classified images and communications intercepts showing that North Korea has moved two mobile missiles, launchers and fuel tanks to its east coast, citing an anonymous American official.
In response to the North's military move, South Korea has sent two Aegis destroyers equipped with advanced radar systems to both of its coasts, Navy officials said.
The 7,600-ton Aegis destroyers with SPY-1 radar, which can track hundreds of targets as far as 1,000 kilometers away, have been on standby on the east and west coasts of the Korean Peninsula to track missile launches by Pyongyang, according to a senior Navy official.
"If the North fires off a missile, we will trace its trajectory," the official said asking for anonymity citing confidential information.
The South Korean military is also operating the ground-based missile defense radar system Green Pine, and the early warning aircraft Peace Eye under stepped up military readiness status to prepare for a potential rocket launch, according to the officials.
"We are closely monitoring North Korea's missile preparations, but it is not yet clear when and where it will fire off a missile," defense ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said in a briefing. "We will step up our military posture if the North's missile affects us." In response to media reports that the North may plan to launch a missile in the coming days or weeks, Kim said Pyongyang could pick a launching day it deems "meaningful," without elaboration.
Outside observers see a high chance that Pyongyang may launch the missile in mid-April to celebrate the April 15 birthday of Kim Il-sung, the communist nation's late founder and the young leader Kim Jong-un's grandfather, in a move to bolster the regime's grip on power.
Meanwhile, the defense ministry has dispatched a team of inspectors to the front-line island of Yeonpyeong to look into the border crossing by a North Korean defector across the tensely guarded western sea border.
The 28-year-old defector, who was living in the South, slipped through radar monitoring on Wednesday night to sail across the maritime border in the Yellow Sea, sparking security concerns at a time of military tensions with the North.
"Investigations are currently underway," Kim said. "After the inspection, we'll figure out what kind of additional measures are needed" to strengthen border security.
I think that's the right direction to be looking.
I don’t believe this is a drill or ploy for donations, and I don’t see any humor in it at all. The she-ite WILL hit the fan - from which direction, is yet to be seen.
Element of surprise? How many in DC are playing this like it’s all a joke? (”Wow - he really did it. Thought he was only kidding”).
Who is laughing at our ‘Wonkiest president and his admin’ now.
People elected Obama because of his ‘wonkiness’, elections do have consequences.
I agree. Obama and Kim un are equals in the “posturing” department. Both spoiled little punks with very dangerous toys at their disposal. I just keep telling myself “God is in control.”
“Whats really going on while the world is focused on NK??”
How about two consecutive negative quarters in the US economy?
The example should be set here and now. Preemptive strike on these NK missile launchers we supposedly know are being setup on their east coast.
Reach out and touch’em. Demonstrate our technological abilities and kill two birds with one stone. Knock out lil Kim's missile capability from afar and show Iran...Keep up your shenanigans....and YOU'RE next.
Disagree. North Korea has been trending on Twitter for days now.
Actually you would be looking right because their right would be coming from your left. Just sayin'.
It gives him cover to mess around on Michelle.............
This is starting to look more and more like it’s a coordinated remaking of “Cuban Missile Crisis” to create panic, and just like with the CMC, we were just one step away from martial law.
It reminds me of something coming out of Hollywood, what a coincidence.
I’m also starting to get the feeling this was supposed to be something for “President Romney” to deal with so the left could claim “He”s starting a war so he can become a dictator”.
Basically the same thing Hillary started about Bush after 9/11.
He doesn’t need cover. The media will do it for him.
Have you noticed in every photo the generals surrounding Kim Jong-un are 65 y.o. plus. They date from his father’s era and they are dying off. Kim Jong-un needs to test the loyalty of the next crop against heighten military tension...read bluster.. Then he’ll pick the cream of the most devoted and golag or simply execute the rest. It’s a purge, Stalin did it all the time. This is page three in the leftist dictator’s handbook.
Sounds just like the aftermath of Benghazi.
At least the families of the people Kim Jong-un executes might expect an extra nice ration, maybe a metal and a letter honoring their heroic death in a training accident.
All the Benghazi families got was Hillary Clinton leaning in to state: “We’re gonna get that film maker.”
We waxed you guys in basketball.
Blackcats, Eyes in the Sky
Those birds have all kinds of issues. We only had one major issue because of maintenance malpractice. One burned up in flight and got sent home in a C141. A few maintainers lost their jobs over that one.