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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Taiwan can detect North Korean missile launch: minister

ROC Central News Agency

2013/04/11 13:05:38

Taipei, April 11 (CNA) Taiwan's military can detect North Korea's missile movements and launches, Defense Minister Kao Hua-chu said Thursday.

Kao said at a Legislative Yuan committee hearing that North Korea's missile deployment and saber-rattling is affecting regional stability, but he added that at the moment, North Korean troops have not been making any unusual movements.

Nevertheless, he said, the U.S. military has tightened its monitoring and intelligence gathering on the situation in North Korea.

South Korea has also heightened its combat readiness, and U.S.-South Korean joint military exercises are still ongoing, Kao said.

For its part, Japan has deployed U.S.-built Patriot missile defense batteries around Tokyo, he went on.

The Beijing authorities, meanwhile, have ordered the Shenyang Military Region in northeastern China to take preventive measures in areas bordering North Korea, Kao said.

In contrast, he said, Russia has not adjusted its troop deployments in its Far East Military District, despite North Korea's recent bellicosity.

According to foreign wire service reports, North Korea has loaded two medium-range missiles onto mobile launchers on its east coast, is probably completing launch preparations and is likely to test fire the missiles at any time.

Kao told lawmakers at the Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee hearing that his ministry has a clear grasp of events on the Korean peninsula, such as the sinking of a South Korean naval ship by a North Korean torpedo in 2010 and the Yeonpyeong Island incident, as well as North Korea's previous satellite launches, missile firings and nuclear testing.

Amid the barrage of increasingly strident rhetoric from Pyongyang, Kao said, the military has readied its long-range early warning surveillance radar program and anti-missile defense system and will respond to any contingencies as necessary.

(By Rogge Chen and Sofia Wu)

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