October 08, 2012 10:57
Chinese and Japanese media voiced unease over the extension to South Korea's missile range following talks with the U.S. that ended Sunday. China's state-run Xinhua News reported that the extension of their maximum range from 300 km to 800 km "runs counter to a global arms control agreement known as the Missile Technology Control Regime."
Xinhua said South Korea, which is a signatory to the regime, took advantage of a loophole in the guidelines [for non-proliferation of unmanned aerial vehicles for all weapons of mass destruction] by opting for "slower, surface-skimming cruise missiles with a range of up to 1, 500 km, which are not subject to the MTCR."
Japan's Asahi Shimbun featured a map illustrating the extended reach of South Korea's missiles and said North Korea's repeated launches of long-range missiles played a key role in boosting the range. The daily forecast that North Korea could now go beyond issuing verbal threats and push ahead with more missile launches, while China would voice discontent with the latest revision.
The paper said Tokyo is also wary of the extended range of South Korean missiles, which will be capable of reaching western Japan.
Japan's Kyodo news agency said the U.S. made sure that the extended missile range would not place Beijing or Tokyo within reach, but forecast that Pyongyang would protest since the South will be capable of hitting any target in the North.
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