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February 24, 2021

North Korea said to move medium-range missile to its coast

US boosts defences amid Korea threat.

North Korea kept tensions simmering around its borders Thursday, reportedly moving a medium-range missile to its east coast and continuing to put pressure on a joint industrial complex where hundreds of South Koreans work, CNN informs.The day before, the United States had announced it was sending ballistic missile defenses to Guam, a Western Pacific territory that’s home to U.S. naval and air bases. North Korea has cited those bases among possible targets for missile attacks.South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin told a parliamentary committee in Seoul that the North has moved a medium-range missile to its east coast for an imminent test firing or military drill. The missile doesn’t appear to be aimed at the U.S. mainland, Kim said, according to the semi-official South Korean news agency Yonhap.The movement of the missile is “of concern, certainly to the U.S. military and to Japan,” said Mark Fitzpatrick, director of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Program at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London.He said he believed the missile in question was a Musudan, a missile the North hasn’t tested before that is based on a Soviet system with a range of about 2,400 kilometers (1,500 miles), far enough to reach Japan but not Guam.The U.S. military, which has a string of bases and thousands of troops in Japan, has already moved two warships and a sea-based radar platform near to the Korean Peninsula to monitor possible missile activity, U.S. defense officials said earlier this week.According to BBC, the US is sending a missile shield to the Pacific island of Guam as North Korea threatens nuclear strikes.

The Pentagon said the shield would be ready within weeks, adding to warships that were sent to the area earlier.The North had named Guam among a list of possible targets for attack that included Hawaii and the US mainland.North Korea is not thought to have the technology to strike the US mainland with either a nuclear weapon or a ballistic missile, analysts say. The US Department of Defense said on Wednesday it would deploy the ballistic Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System (Thaad) to Guam in the coming weeks. The Thaad system includes a truck-mounted launcher and interceptor missiles. The Pentagon said the deployment would “strengthen our regional defence posture against the North Korean regional ballistic missile threat”.The US floated plans to send a Thaad system to Guam in 2009, but never followed through.  US officials recently also announced that the USS John McCain, a destroyer capable of intercepting missiles, had been positioned off the Korean peninsula.

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