Thursday, April 19, 2012

N. Korea Threatens South with 'Sacred War'

Seoul Deploys New Cruise Missile Capable 

of Striking Deep into North; Tensions Rise

AFP reports

North Korea demanded Thursday that South Korea apologise for what it called insults during major anniversary festivities, or face a "sacred war", as Seoul unveiled a new missile to deter its neighbour.

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VOA reports South Korean military officials announced the deployment of the new cruise missile on Thursday at a news conference for South Korean reporters, apparently in reaction to the North's failed rocket launch and fears that it is again preparing to test a nuclear weapon.

South Korea's semi-official Yonhap News Agency reported that a senior Defense Ministry official, Maj.-Gen. Shin Won-sik, described the missile as having a range of more than 1,000 kilometers (over 621 miles) and a capability to strike anywhere in North Korea. Cruise missiles are designed to fly low to the ground and weave through enemy defenses in order to reach their targets.

South Korean Defense Ministry officials reportedly said the new missile was developed using entirely home-grown technology--comments clearly aimed at highlighting the contrast between their country's impressive technological achievements and the embarrassing failure of North Korea's three unsuccessful attempts to test long-range ballistic missiles.

Yonhap News quoted Shin as saying South Korea has also deployed a new tactical ballistic missile with a range of 300 kilometers.