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N Korea has nukes on Rodong missiles, says analyst

High-resolution QuickBird satellite image featuring N Korea's Musudan Ri missle launch facility, formerly known as Taepo-dong. Image courtesy DigitalGlobe

SEOUL (BNS): North Korea has two nuclear warheads that could be mounted on mid-range Rodong missiles, Daniel Pinkston, a senior analyst at the International Crisis Group, said here on Tuesday.

The analyst told Kyodo News that he got the information from a government official, but refused to disclose the official’s identity. The US and South Korean intelligence organisations have been working jointly to secure information about the North Korean missile launch.

The North had informed the international community of its plans to launch a communications satellite between April 4 and 8, but the West suspects that the North is going to test launch its long-range ballistic missile. And if any UN sanctions are imposed on it, it will further go ahead with a second short or medium missile launch.

Meanwhile, Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso addressed a plenary session of the House of Councilors on Tuesday. The House unanimously adopted a resolution urging North Korea to abstain from launching a long-range ballistic missile.

According to a report from Washington, officials of United States, South Korea and Japan have agreed to maintain close coordination to deal with the situation when Pyongyang conducts a missile test.

The US State Department deputy spokesman Gordon Duguid said that the US special representative on North Korea, Stephen Bosworth and Sung Kim, director of the office of Korean affairs, held separate meetings with their counterparts Wi Sung-lac of South Korea and Akitaka Saiki of Japan on Friday.

Addressing a news conference, Duguid said that the discussions were constructive and substantive. “The parties discussed how to maintain close coordination in the event of needing to respond to a North Korean missile test and how to improve the six-party process to move forward,” he said, adding that Ambassador Kim also hosted an informal trilateral meeting with his two counterparts.

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