Seoul unveils missile amid North’s war threat
SEOUL - Agence France-Presse
A South Korean activist (C) poses with a mask of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. AFP photoNorth Korea demanded yesterday that South Korea apologize for what it called insults during major anniversary festivities, or face a “sacred war,” as Seoul unveiled a new missile to deter its neighbor.
Regional tensions have risen since Pyongyang went ahead with a long-range rocket launch on April 13, defying international calls to desist. But the rocket, which the North said was designed to launch a satellite, disintegrated after some two minutes of flight. “The puppet regime of traitors must apologize immediately for their grave crime of smearing our Day of Sun festivities,” said a government statement on Pyongyang’s official news agency.
Otherwise, it said, the North Korean people and military “will release their volcanic anger and stage a sacred war of retaliation to wipe out traitors on this land.” Meanwhile, South Korea announced yesterday it has deployed new cruise missiles capable of destroying targets such as missile and nuclear bases anywhere in the North. “With such capabilities, our military will sternly and thoroughly punish reckless provocations by North Korea while maintaining our firm readiness,” Major General Shin Won-Sik told reporters.
Yonhap news agency said the new cruise missile could travel more than 1,000 kilometers. Cross-border tensions have been high since conservative President Lee Myung-Bak took office in Seoul in 2008 and scrapped a near-unconditional aid policy.