N. Korea Loads Missiles, Hides Launchers: Report

Observers fear surprise launch: Yonhap
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Apr 5, 2013 5:55 AM CDT
Tourists look over the north side of the Bridge of Freedom which was destroyed during the Korean War, north of Seoul, South Korea, Friday, April 5, 2013.   (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

(Newser) – North Korea has installed two medium-range missiles on mobile launchers hidden close to its east coast, Yonhap News reports by way of South Korean military sources. One senior official describes them as Musudan missiles, which Yonhap notes were debuted in October 2010 and are believed to have a 1,865-mile range, but have yet to be test fired. He sees the move to hide the missiles as indicative of possible plans for a surprise launch—though many experts believe such a launch could come on or around April 15, founder Kim Il Sung's birthday. Seoul and Washington are keeping a close eye on the facility believed to house the missiles.

Meanwhile, South Korean markets are starting to feel the stress of the situation, reports Reuters. "In the past, North Korea-related events had little impact," the South's vice finance minister told fellow officials. "But recent threats from North Korea are stronger and the impact may therefore not disappear quickly." With foreign investors selling heavily, South Korea's stocks dropped 1.64% today, the New York Times reports, and its won dropped against the dollar. Meanwhile, GM's CEO cited safety concerns for the company's workers in the country, noting that it might eventually consider moving out if tensions worsen. (Read more North Korea stories.)

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