North Korea directs missiles towards Australia

Saturday, March 24, 2012
By Paul Martin

Peter Hartcher
SMH.com.au
March 24, 2012

NORTH KOREA’S forthcoming missile launch will be aimed towards South-East Asia and Australia for the first time, the US has warned.

The warning was delivered in person yesterday to the Foreign Affairs Minister, Bob Carr, by a senior official in the Obama Administration, Kurt Campbell, during a visit to Sydney.
North Korea, which claimed to have successfully tested a nuclear weapon in 2009, has for years worked to improve its long-range ballistic missile capability. Previous missile tests have been launched east, over Japan. But US intelligence suggests the launch announced for mid-April will be aimed south for the first time.

“If the missile test proceeds as North Korea has indicated, our judgment is that it will impact in an area roughly between Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines,” Dr Campbell, the assistant secretary of state for East Asia and the Pacific, said yesterday.

“We have never seen this trajectory before. We have weighed into each of these countries and asked them to make clear that such a test is provocative and this plan should be discontinued.”

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