January 10, 2017 18:59
The Defense Ministry here on Monday warned that North Korea "seems to be capable" of launching an intercontinental ballistic missile from a mobile launcher.
In a press briefing, ministry spokesman Moon Sang-gyun said, "We're keeping a close watch on the North's big anniversaries this year as possible dates for an ICBM launch."
Earlier, on Sunday, a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman told KCNA, "We will launch an ICBM any time from any location determined by the supreme leadership."
The Kwangmyongsong long-range rocket which the North launched in February last year could be converted into an ICBM capable of striking the U.S. mainland, but it can only be launched from fixed launch pads and takes days to prepare and fuel.
But the Defense Ministry spokesman here said the KN-08 or the improved KN-14 could be launched from a 16-wheeled mobile launch vehicle without being immediately noticed by South Korea and the U.S.
U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told NBC on Sunday the U.S. would shoot down a North Korean ICBM "if it were coming towards our territory or the territory of our friends and allies."
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