North Korean leader Kim Jong Un rides on a boat near the western sea border with South Korea on March 11.
(Photo: Korean Central News Agency, AP via USA Today)
North Korea, (CBSNews.com) - North Korea has moved a second intermediate-range missile to an unidentified location on its east coast, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported Friday.
The South's defense chief said Thursday that the North had moved one missile to its east coast -- believed to be a Musudan, which is believed to have a range of approximately 2,500 miles.
A North Korean Musudan, or Taepodong X, intermediate-range missile is seen on display during a military parade in Pyongyang, October 2010. It's never been determined conclusively whether the missiles paraded through the capital city were real or just mock-ups.
Crucially, the accuracy of Musudan missiles, also known as Taepodong X, and even their ability to successfully launch and cruise to any significant distance at all, remains unproven by North Korea. The missiles' capabilities are based on extrapolations of data on earlier versions built by Russia.
Yonhap quoted unnamed South Korean defense officials on Friday as saying the North had put two missiles "onto mobile launchers and hidden them in an unidentified facility near the east coast." The report could not be independently verified, and it was unclear what the isolated North might intend to do with the relocated missiles, if anything at all.
The move will raise fears that Pyongyang, which has taken a series of dramatic provocative steps since the largely unknown, 30-year-old, Kim Yong Un became the nation's leader last year, might be preparing for a sudden launch or missile test.
Reuters quoted South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok as saying Friday that, if the missiles are Musudans as suspected, "It can fly to Guam."
"There are major U.S. military forces and dispatched reinforcements to deal with the situation on the Korean peninsula in Guam, so I think the missile could put them in possible danger," said the spokesman.
There are about 6,000 U.S. troops on Guam, which is less than 2,300 miles from North Korea's east coast.