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N. Korea deploying intermediate-range missiles
SEOUL July 7 - Communist North Korea has been building and deploying intermediate range ballistic missiles capable of reaching U.S. military targets in Hawaii and Guam, South Korean newspapers reported on Wednesday.
North Korea, whose nuclear weapons programmes have embroiled it in a lengthy standoff with the United States, has also been testing engines for long-range Taepodong-2 missiles, the Chosun Ilbo and other dailies reported in their early Thursday editions.
The reports cited testimony to the National Assembly Defence Committee by Defence Minister Cho Young-gil. The Defence Ministry declined to comment on the reports, but a spokesman said Cho had given the committee a briefing on key security issues.
N. Korea 'steps up war-readiness'
SEOUL - North Korea has beefed up its combat-readiness since the United States-led invasion of Iraq, fortifying military facilities, digging tunnels and testing new missiles, South Korea's Defence Ministry said yesterday.
The ministry said in a report that the communist country had dug trenches and camouflaged bases near the front line.
It had also been developing weapons of mass destruction at a 5MW nuclear reactor in Yongbyon, some 80km north of Pyongyang.
'North Korea has been building up its combat preparedness along the front lines and in the rear as well,' the ministry said in the report.
'Following the outbreak of the war on Iraq, construction projects have been under way at more than 80 sites to build tunnels and trenches and to camouflage military facilities.'
The report also said the North had been upgrading some 400 multiple rocket launchers, a major security threat to South Korea, developing new ground-to-ship missiles and building mid-sized submarines.