Tag Archives: Warship

North Korean rocket could reach Hawaii: US admiral

America’s top military officer said on Friday that a rocket North Korea plans to launch next month has a range that could possibly reach Hawaii.Asked if the North Korean rocket could reach the US states of Hawaii or Alaska, Admiral Mike Mullen told CNN: “In some cases, yes, they could probably get down to Hawaii.”

International concern has been mounting about North Korea’s announcement it would launch a communications satellite between April 4 and 8.

The United States, Japan and other allies believe Pyongyang is using the launch to test a ballistic missile that could, in theory, cross the Pacific to reach North America.

The launch, combined with North Korea’s atomic weapons, were cause for serious concern, the admiral said.

Mullen added the regime’s missiles did not yet have a range that could strike the western coast of the US mainland.

Arms experts say North Korea has yet to demonstrate it has the ability to construct and fit a nuclear warhead onto a missile.

The launch, even if it is for a satellite as announced by North Korea, would help the regime in developing a long-range missile threat, said Mullen, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“What concerns me is the guidance, the engineering, the engines, those are all identical to the kinds of capabilities you’d put on a ballistic missile,” he said.

Japan gave its military the green light on Friday to shoot down any incoming North Korean rocket. And Japanese and US warships have already deployed ahead of the April 4-8 window.

North Korea has said shooting down its rocket would be treated as act of war.

The last time North Korea launched a long-range Taepo-dong 2, on July 4, 2006, the missile failed seconds after launch.

Mullen declined to comment on any possible US military response to a rocket launch.

Other US commanders have said they have confidence the US military had the ability to shoot down any missile threatening the United States using sea-based or land-based missile defense weaponry.

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deploys warships as North Korea prepares to launch missile

Telegraph.co.uk

By Peter Foster in Beijing
Last Updated: 3:56PM GMT 26 Mar 2009

The deployment comes as America, Japan and South Korea threaten North Korea with ‘serious consequences’ if it proceeds with plans to conduct the missile test in defiance of a 2006 UN resolution.

North Korea, which has informed international agencies of its plan to fire the missile between April 4 and 8, says the launch is a “satellite test” which it is entitled to make under international law.

Recent satellite imagery has shown that the North Korea has now assembled two stages of the three-stage Taepodong-2 missile on a launch pad in the country’s northeast. Experts estimate that missile could be ready to fire within four days.

Japan has threatened to shoot down the missile if it crosses over Japanese territory, a move which Pyongyang has already said it would consider an “act of war”.

Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, has warned any launch would threaten to end the six-party talks over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programme. The talks have been stalled since December in a dispute over how to verify its disarmament.

“This provocative action, in violation of the United Nations mandate, will not go unnoticed and there will be consequences,” she said while on a visit to Mexico, warning that the US would put the issue before the UN Security Council for additional sanctions.

It is unclear if China, Pyongyang’s only major ally which has held talks with senior figures from both North and South Korea in the last week, would support a US move to deepen sanctions.

North Korea also continues to hold two Korean-American journalists who it arrested over a week ago after they strayed across North Korea’s border with China while on a reporting assignment.

The US Navy spokesman said the two destroyers – the USS McCain and USS Chafee – equipped with Aegis technology capable of tracking and destroying missiles had left Sasebo port in southwestern Japan. “I would say we are ready for any contingencies,” he added.

The approach launch is typical of the brinkmanship of North Korean diplomacy, analysts say, however relations on the Korean Peninsular now said to be at their lowest ebb for a decade.

A successful satellite launch would be both a blow to South Korea, which hopes to launch its own satellite later this year, and a huge fillip for Kim Jong-il, the North’s ailing dictator who was reported to have a had a stroke last year.

“A successful launch, coupled with international recognition of its nuclear capabilities, would also help secure the survival of the regime,” added Koh Yu-hwan, Dongguk University professor of North Korea studies in Seoul.

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