03/23/2006, 00.00
north korea - south korea
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North Korean missiles more accurate: can strike South and Japan

According to a report released from the Centre for Non-proliferation Studies, Pyongyang is working to build a missile that could hit the United States.

Seoul (AsiaNews/Agencies) - North Korea is upgrading its mobile missiles, making it easier to launch a surprise attack on neighbours but is yet to build a missile that could hit the United States, a report said yesterday.

Pyongyang has more than 800 ballistic missiles, some of which could deliver chemical or biological weapons, the California-based Centre for Non-proliferation Studies said.

The commander of US forces in South Korea described a short-range missile test earlier this month as representing a "quantum leap forward" from North Korea's previous weapons. The missile has a range of up to 120km and can strike US bases in Seoul.

North Korea has two missiles, and possibly a third, that can strike Japan, most notably the Rodong. "Given the missile's relative inaccuracy, the Rodong is more useful as a 'terror weapon' against population centres than as a military system," the report said.

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