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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

N.Korea Space Program no Threat to U.S. - Missile Defense Chief

RIA Novosti

05:46 19/04/2012 WASHINGTON, April 18 (RIA Novosti) - North Korea is far from being able to threaten the United States with a long-range missile, Director of the Missile Defense Agency Lt. Gen. Patrick O'Reilly said.

The official said North Korea’s progress “has not been made apparent” in the recent failed rocket launch, which the U.S. claims was a cover for a ballistic missile test banned under UN resolutions.

"Our experience has been you need a lot of testing and flight testing in order to validate and have reliance in the capability. They do not, and it's been evident every time they test,” O'Reilly said.

The Unha-3 rocket - which the North said would put a satellite into orbit - was launched from the country’s northwest early on Friday. The launch was timed to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of the nation's late founding leader Kim Il-sung.

The United States, South Korea, Japan and other countries observing the launch said the rocket crashed into the Yellow Sea shortly after blastoff.

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