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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

North Korea Moves Missile, Threatens To Close Factories

Briana Goodall |
April 4, 2013 | 9:36 a.m. PDT

Executive Producer


North Korean soldiers in 2012. (Creative Commons, Joseph A Ferris III)
North Korean soldiers in 2012. (Creative Commons, Joseph A Ferris III)
North Korea moved a missile to its east coast, said South Korea's defense minister Thursday, but he does not believe the North is preparing for a full-scale conflict. 

According to the Associated Press, Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin said he does not know the reason for the missile's move, but it "could be for testing or drills." He said, "(North Korea's recent threats) are rhetorical threats. I believe the odds of a full-scale provocation are small."

ALSO SEE: The U.S. To Send Anti-Missile Defense System To Guam In Response To North Korean Threat 

The minister believes the missile has considerable range but not enough to hit the U.S. mainland. The missile is thought to be a Musudan, with a reach of approximately 1,800 miles. Other Asian countries, including South Korea and Japan, along with U.S. bases located in those countries could be potential targets, but experts believe the North Korean missiles still lack the technology to be able to accurately hit a specific target. 

ALSO SEE: North Korea Closes Joint Border With South Korea

The movement of the missile came on the second day that North Korea has refused to let South Korean workers and managers into the Kaesong industrial complex, an economic cooperation zone on the north side of the border but where some southern companies operate. The North gave the workers already in the complex a chance to go back to the South, but many chose to stay. Out of the 828 South Korean workers in the North only 222 wanted to leave, reported Reuters. "I have four dependents in my family. We didn't go there for political reasons, we were there to make our living," said Kwon Bo-sun, a trailer driver trying to drive his supplies into the complex. 

ALSO SEE: North Korea To Reopen Nuclear Plant

The Korean Central News Agency said all of Kaesong, home to 123 South Korean factories which employ 50,000 North Korean workers, could be shut down. "If the South's puppet conservative group and its media continue bad-mouthing ... we will be taking the stern measure of pulling out all of our workers from the Kaesong industrial zone." 

Read more of Neon Tommy's North Korea coverage here.

Reach Executive Producer Briana Goodall here; follow her here



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