April 5, 2013

North Korea moves missile to east coast

But the missile is not capable of reaching the United States and it doesn't appear Kim Jong Un is preparing for war, South Korea says.

The Associated Press

(Continued from page 2)

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In an April 2012 photo, a North Korean vehicle carries what appears to be a new missile in a military parade in Pyongyang. North Korea has moved a missile with "considerable range" to its east coast, South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin said Thursday, but he added there are no signs Pyongyang is preparing for a full-scale conflict. The report came hours after North Korea's military warned that it has been authorized to attack the U.S. using "smaller, lighter and diversified" nuclear weapons.

The Associated Press

Related headlines

HACKERS GO ON OFFENSIVE AGAINST NORTH KOREAN SITES

SEOUL, South Korea — Hackers apparently broke into at least two of North Korea’s government-run online sites Thursday, as tensions rose on the Korean Peninsula.

The North’s Uriminzokkiri Twitter and Flickr accounts stopped sending out content typical of that posted by the regime in Pyongyang, such as photos of North’s leader Kim Jong Un meeting with military officials.

Instead, a picture posted Thursday on the North’s Flickr site shows Kim’s face with a pig-like snout and a drawing of Mickey Mouse on his chest. Underneath, the text reads: “Threatening world peace with ICBMs and Nuclear weapons/Wasting money while his people starve to death.”

Another posting says “We are Anonymous” in white letters against a black background. Anonymous is a name of a hacker activist group. A statement purporting to come from the attackers and widely circulated online said that they had compromised 15,000 user records hosted on Uriminzokkiri.com and other websites. The authenticity of the statement couldn’t be confirmed, but the North’s official website did not open Thursday.

Tweets on the North’s Twitter account said “Hacked” followed by a link to North Korea-related websites. One tweet said “Tango Down” followed by a link to the North’s Flickr page.

North Korea opened its Twitter account in 2010. It has more than 13,000 followers. The North uses the social media to praise its system and leaders and also to repeat commentaries sent out by North’s official Korean Central News Agency.

– The Associated Press
 

"I don't believe North Korea has the capacity to attack the United States with nuclear weapons mounted on missiles, and won't for many years. Its ability to target and strike South Korea is also very limited," nuclear scientist Siegfried Hecker, a senior fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University, said this week.

In comments posted on CISAC's website, Hecker said North Korea knows a nuclear attack would be met with "a devastating nuclear response."

Hecker has estimated that North Korea has enough plutonium to make several crude nuclear bombs. Its announcement Tuesday that it would restart a plutonium reactor indicated that it intends to produce more nuclear weapons material.

The U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies has analyzed recent commercial satellite imagery of the Nyongbyon nuclear facility, where the reactor was shut down in 2007 under the terms of a disarmament agreement. A cooling tower for the reactor was destroyed in 2008.

The analysis published Wednesday on the institute's website, 38 North, says that rebuilding the tower would take six months, but a March 27 photo shows building work may have started for an alternative cooling system that could take just weeks. Experts estimate it could take three months to a year to restart the plant.

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Today's poll: North Korean threats

Do you think North Korea's threats are credible?

Yes

No

View Results