North Korea missile consistent with satellite - U.S.


Originally Written By: David Morgan and Jonathan Thatcher

WASHINGTON/SEOUL (Reuters) - A missile North Korea could launch as soon as this weekend appears to have a bulb-shaped tip that gives credence to Pyongyang's claim it plans to put a satellite in space, U.S. defense officials said on Tuesday.

A satellite image of Musudan Ri, North Korea, taken on February 17, 2009. A missile North Korea could launch as soon as this weekend appears to have a bulb-shaped tip that gives credence to Pyongyang's claim it plans to put a satellite in space, U.S. defense officials said on Tuesday. (REUTERS/DigitalGlobe/Handout/Files)

Washington and others have voiced concern the launch will be a test of a long-range missile that could carry a warhead as far as U.S. territory. Pyongyang's plans have alarmed the region and intensified pressure on the North not to launch its Taepodong-2. A Taepodong-2 test in 2006 failed.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said the launch, which North Korea says will occur between April 4 and 8, would deal a blow to six-party talks to end Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program.

Further stoking tensions, North Korea said on Tuesday it would put on trial two U.S. journalists arrested this month on its border with China.

The reclusive state accused the two female reporters, Laura Ling and Euna Lee from the U.S.-based media outlet Current TV, of unspecified "hostile acts."

"The illegal entry of U.S. reporters into the DPRK (North Korea) and their suspected hostile acts have been confirmed by evidence and their statements, according to the results of intermediary investigation conducted by a competent organ of the DPRK," North Korea's KCNA news agency said.

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