N. Korea Readies Test Launch Missiles

UN monitoring halted, disarmament pact nearing collapse
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Oct 9, 2008 12:56 PM CDT
Crew members of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington patrol near an aircraft in South Korea today. International monitoring of North Korea's nuclear complex was halted today.   (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
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(Newser) – North Korea sent 10 missiles to test-launch sites off the Yellow Sea today and halted UN monitoring of its nuclear complex, Reuters reports, in the latest hardline signal from the Communist regime as it flirts with scrapping a nuclear disarmament deal. Meanwhile, Pyongyang tested two ship-to-ship missiles in the West Sea on Tuesday, reports Chosun Ilbo —at an estimated cost of $1 million to the impoverished nation.

The move comes despite US agreement to take Pyongyang off its terrorism blacklist this month. North Korea’s actions so far are “reversible,” and it should avoid “steps that increase tension,” says a US official. Washington suspects Pyongyang has a uranium enrichment program parallel to its plutonium one, but has agreed not to make verifying that a condition of delisting.