News

DPRK Preparing To Test Missiles

Tokyo SANKEI SHIMBUN
19 Jun 95 Morning Edition p 1


A government source disclosed on 18 June that North Korea is preparing to test fire missiles. This information was passed on by the U.S. Government to the Japanese Government after a U.S. reconnaissance satellite detected such moves. It is said that test launching may be conducted as early as before the end of June.

According to this source, a U.S. reconnaissance satellite detected cranes and trucks carrying missiles to be test fired at a North Korean military base recently. North Korea carried out test fires into the Sea of Japan in May 1993, May 1994, and last March. It is believed that the DPRK is now in the midst of preparations for another round of test launches to coincide with the period of fair weather conditions in the Sea of Japan.

North Korea reportedly launched "Nodong-1" ballistic missiles in May 1993, and Chinese-made "Silkworm" anti-ship missiles in May 1994 and March 1995.

However, since conditions are becoming ripe for the resumption of Japan-North Korea negotiations on the normalization of diplomatic relations after the DPRK reached agreement with the United States on the supply of light water reactors to North Korea, some observers claim the DPRK "may not undertake actual test firing, but will only stop at jet-propulsion tests."

On the other hand, a Foreign Ministry source says: "It will not be surprising if the [North Korean] military carries out test firing as usual, based on its own line of reasoning."



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