Thursday, March 22, 2012

North Korea seeking to develop nuclear missile: Seoul

South Korea accused North Korea Monday of trying to develop a nuclear-armed missile through a satellite launch next month, after Pyongyang dismissed international calls to abandon the exercise.

"Our government defines North Korea's so-called working satellite launch plan as a grave provocation to develop a long-distance delivery means for nuclear weapons by using ballistic missile technology," said presidential spokesman Park Jeong-Ha.

The North announced Friday it would launch a long-range rocket between April 12 and 16 to put a satellite into orbit for peaceful purposes.

The United States and other nations see the exercise as a thinly veiled long-range missile test, which would breach a United Nations ban and violate last month's denuclearisation deal with Washington.

The North is thought to have enough plutonium for perhaps six to eight nuclear weapons, but it is unclear whether it can yet build an atomic warhead for a missile. Read More