News Column

North Korean Rockets Reportedly Could Reach US Mainland

Dec. 23, 2012

Experts in South Korea on Sunday said the country's communist northern neighbor had used a rocket system in its recent rocket launch that could in theory transport a nuclear warhead to the United States mainland.

Analysis of debris retrieved from the rocket's first stage in the Yellow Sea showed it could carry a warhead of 500 to 600 kilograms over a distance of more than 10,000 kilometres, one Defense Ministry official said in Seoul. That would be within reach of the US West Coast.

On December 12, North Korea launched its Unha-3 rocket, putting a satellite in orbit, as part of what it says is a peaceful space programme.

The UN Security Council strongly condemned the launch, saying it intends to adopt "appropriate measures" if Pyongyang continues with more launches using prohibited ballistic missiles technology.

Source: Copyright 2012 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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