View Full Version : North Korea increases its missile numbers by 25 per cent

03-17-2010, 01:19 PM
North Korea has increased its missile arsenal by 25 per cent in the past two years to about 1,000, the South's defence chief said
Kim Tae-young, South Korea's Defence Minister, said that North Korea's stockpiling was expanding the threat the state poses to the region
Pyongyang's arsenal includes intermediate-range missiles that can hit targets at up to 3,000km (1,860 miles) away, Yonhap news agency quoted Kim Tae-young as telling a forum of business leaders.
The missiles could hit all of Japan and put US military bases in Guam at risk.
South Korea's last estimate of the North's missile stockpile was 800 done in 2008, Yonhap said.
Its Defence White Paper in 2008 said the North had deployed the intermediate range missile.
The estimate comes at a time when the North is seen to be under increasing pressure to return to six-party talks on nuclear disarmament, following economic sanctions imposed on it after its nuclear test in May 2009.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has been trying to hold the destitute state together as its economic troubles mount, the South Korean defence official said.
"Kim Jong-il is struggling to stabilise his regime and hold its system together and has been focusing on securing resources from the outside while maintaining a planned economy," he said.
A botched attempt to reform the currency triggered anger among an already impoverished public because it stoked inflation.
News reports said Kim may visit China late this month for the first time in four years to shore up investment from his biggest benefactor in new projects his country has launched to increase its meagre international trade and commerce.