North Korea Withdraws Missiles from Launch Site

World | May 7, 2013, Tuesday // 07:07|  views

Musudan missiles were displayed during a military parade in Pyongyang last year. Photo by CNN

Two North Korean Musudan missiles have been withdrawn from a launch site in the eastern part of the country and sent to a storage facility, a US official confirmed for CNN on Monday.

For weeks last month, North Korea dished out daily sabre-rattling threats aimed at South Korea and the United States.

The North's rhetoric intensified after the UN Security Council voted in March to slap tougher sanctions on the regime and amid US-South Korean military drills in the region.

The news that the missiles had been removed from the site on the east coast came on the eve of a summit in Washington between the US and South Korean presidents.

Park Geun-hye is to hold talks with Barack Obama later on Tuesday, with the two expected to reiterate a commitment to strong ties. Ms Park, who took office in February, will also address the US Congress on Wednesday.

The move is the most tangible sign yet that North Korea has stepped back from its threats to launch missiles, the BBC's Jane Little in Washington reports.

But a senior US official from the National Security Council warned that, given the North's unpredictable behaviour, it was "premature to celebrate it as good news".

Pentagon spokesman George Little, who declined to comment directly on the missiles' reported removal, told reporters "what we have seen recently is a provocation pause".

“And we think that's obviously beneficial to efforts to ensure we have peace and stability on the Korean peninsula."

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Tags: US, South Korean, South Korea, missiles, musudan, North Korean, North Korea, Pentagon, UN Security Council


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