Report: North Korea Finished Missile Silos Near China Border

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Global Security Newswire Staff
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Global Security Newswire Staff
Oct. 10, 2013, 8:02 a.m.

Ac­cord­ing to one South Korean news­pa­per re­port, North Korea has fin­ished build­ing a num­ber of sub­ter­ranean mis­sile silos at a loc­a­tion not far from China.

The JoongAng Daily cited mul­tiple an­onym­ous South Korean gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials as its sources for the re­port of new mis­sile-launch fa­cil­it­ies po­si­tioned roughly 2,190 yards south of Mount Paektu.

“Since there are many places where the silos have been con­struc­ted, it is un­clear wheth­er all of them are launch-cap­able fa­cil­it­ies or wheth­er some are emer­gency fa­cil­it­ies in case of at­tack,” an of­fi­cial told the news­pa­per. “Based on the size and loc­a­tion of the fa­cil­it­ies, it ap­pears that these silos are for launch­ing mid-sized or lar­ger mis­siles.”

The re­por­ted loc­a­tion of the silos could give North Korea a hardened loc­a­tion from which to mount in­ter­me­di­ate-range bal­list­ic mis­sile strikes on U.S. mil­it­ary forces de­ployed in Ok­inawa and as far away as Guam.

“It ap­pears that North Korea is cre­at­ing a scen­ario through which they can at­tack the South with its short-range mis­siles … and at­tack Guam or Ok­inawa with its mid-range mis­siles,” an an­onym­ous South Korean gov­ern­ment ana­lyst was quoted by the news­pa­per as say­ing.

Py­ongy­ang already has two known mis­sile-launch fa­cil­it­ies at Musudan-ri and Dongchang-ri, however, those sites are not un­der­ground and thus are more vul­ner­able to at­tack by the United States and South Korea. In ad­di­tion, the pos­sible loc­a­tion of the new silos near the Chinese bor­der would make launch­ing a strike on them more polit­ic­ally sens­it­ive.

“If the mis­sile fa­cil­ity is loc­ated near Chinese bor­ders, a mis­sile can ac­ci­dent­ally fall in­to China and ap­proach­ing via fight­er jet will not be easy, so at­tacks will be dif­fi­cult,” a sep­ar­ate uniden­ti­fied source said.

Mean­while, the United States, South Korea and Ja­pan on Thursday car­ried out tri­lat­er­al mari­time man­euvers that had been delayed for a few days due to bad weath­er, the Yon­hap News Agency re­por­ted. North Korea, as it typ­ic­ally does, vehe­mently pro­tested the two-day drill and warned it could touch off an es­cal­at­ory re­sponse.

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