- Nov 22, 2003
S.Korea media: More N. Korea rockets ready
1 hour, 47 minutes ago
North Korea has three or four more missiles on launch pads, South Korean media reported Thursday, while Japan said there was no sign the communist state was planning another immediate launch of a long-range rocket.
Chosun Ilbo, one of South Korea's largest newspapers, said the missiles the North were preparing were either short- or medium-range. The paper cited an unidentified senior South Korean official. Another major newspaper, JoongAng Ilbo, carried a similar report.
"There is a possibility that North Korea will fire additional missiles," Yonhap news agency quoted South Korean Defense Minister Yoon Kwang-ung as telling lawmakers.
North Korea test-fired seven missiles on Wednesday, triggering international condemnation. The missiles apparently fell into the sea without causing damage or injuries.
Shinzo Abe, the chief Cabinet secretary, told reporters in Tokyo that North Korea does not appear to have any of the long-range ballistic missiles ready for imminent launch, but said he could not rule out the possibility that one could be test-fired at a later point.
The North's Taepodong-2 missile is believed capable or reaching the United States with a light payload. A test of the missile Wednesday failed seconds after launch.
"We will keep watching the situation very closely," he said. "They are not prepared to launch another one right now."