N. Korea Conceals
New Missile Launchers
In Underground Bases
TOKYO - North Korea has established up to six missile launch units, despite an agreement with the United States to suspend new ballistic missile tests, South Korea says.
South Korea's national Yonhap news agency quoted a military official in Seoul as saying North Korea has formed 4-6 missile battalions stationed in underground bases.
Last year, Pyongyang pledged to suspend plans to test-launch the new Taepo Dong-2 missile, with a reported range of more than 4,000 kilometers. The pledge came in exchange of U.S. aid.
But U.S. officials acknowledged that Pyongyang has not terminated development of the Taepo Dong-2 and plans to eventually export the missile to foreign countries, particularly Middle East clients.
The assertion comes as the United States and North Korea plan to continue steps to improve relations. Officials said both countries want to establish liaison offices to normalize relations. Delegations from the two countries plan to meet in Washington in March.
"If negotiations go well, it may be possible this year for liaison offices to be set up in Pyongyang and Washington," South Korea's Unification Minister Park Jae Kyu said Sunday.
On Monday, North Korea vowed to cooperate with Russia to oppose U.S. plans for a national missile defense system. The [North] Korean Central News Agency said the agreement between Moscow and Pyongyang came during a visit by Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov to Pyongyang earlier this month.
In another development, South Korea's Korea's Yonhap news agency said North Korea and Australia have reached an agreement in principle to normalize diplomatic ties and convene high-level talks in Australia in the second half of this year. The agreement was reached during a visit to Pyongyang by a four-member Australian delegation last week.


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