North Korea tests long-range nuke missile*
By Richard Spencer in Beijing
Last Updated: 1:34pm BST 16/05/2007
North Korea has used a launch-pad in Iran to test-fire a new long-range
missile capable of hitting American bases in the Pacific, according to
reports from Japan and South Korea.
North Korea tests long-range missile
The missile was shown to the public in a military parade
The missile, known as a Musudan-type, was shown to the public at a vast
military parade in the North Korean capital Pyongyang, according to the
South Korean and American intelligence reports suggest it was then
tested not from North Korean soil but from Iran, with which North Korea
is known to have close military co-operation.
The missile, which could target the US military on the Pacific island of
Guam, was previously unrecorded.
North Korea has a known capacity in short and medium-range missiles,
including the Taeopodong-1 which it fired over Japan in 1998 to the
alarm of Tokyo and its allies in Washington.
However, it has had less success developing long-range missiles.
It has been working for several years on a Taepodong-2, which would be
targeted at the western seaboard of the United States.
But a test last July failed, landing in the sea not far from the North
Korean and Russian border.
The new missile is said have been identified by American military
satellite pictures of the April rally to commemorate the 75th
anniversary of the founding of the North Korean army, and to be based on
The Japanese defence ministry said that the new missile might be able to
travel 3,000 miles at middle altitude.
"We acknowledge that such a new type of missile is being developed by
North Korea in addition to the existing missiles," an official said.
Yonhap, the South Korean news agency, quoted a source in Washington as
saying: "We did obtain intelligence tips that the missile was test-fired
in Iran. I understand that the intelligence communities of relevant
countries are tracking down the information."
The Iran connection could well be a favour in return for North Korea
agreeing to share the results of its nuclear test last October with Teheran.
The countries were both beneficiaries of the nuclear know-how network
created by the Pakistani scientist AQ Khan, and have been known
previously to co-operate on missile technology.