KOREA FLAUNTS NEW MISSILE, U.S. SHRUGS OFF THREAT

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HAGATNA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, April 29) – A major South Korean newspaper yesterday reported that North Korea in a massive parade on Wednesday displayed a newly developed ballistic missile capable of reaching Guam; but Guam's security chief said residents shouldn't be alarmed.

Maj. Gen. Donald Goldhorn, Guam Homeland Security adviser, had conversations with the intelligence center for the Department of Homeland Security in Washington, D.C., yesterday.

"There is no evidence of missiles directed at Guam," Goldhorn said. "We recognize that this not new information. We recognize that there are missiles capable of reaching Guam but the accuracy is questionable. They may possess the capability but whether they are actively engaged or directed at Guam, there is no evidence at all."

The parade in Pyongyang on Wednesday featured three new models, including the medium-range missile that can travel 1,500-2,500 miles, the Chosun Ilbo reported.

The report cited an unidentified South Korean government official familiar with an analysis of U.S. satellite images.

North Korea's missile development has been a constant concern to the region, along with its pursuit of nuclear weapons.

The hard-line regime test-fired a series of missiles in July last year, including its latest long-range model, known abroad as the Taepodong-2, which experts believe could reach parts of the United States.

The North rattled the world again in October by conducting its first-ever test of a nuclear device. However, experts believe it does not have a bomb design advanced enough to be placed on a missile.

Kim Tae-woo, a top missile expert at South Korea's state-run Korea Institute for Defense Analyses, said the North has been believed in recent years to be developing a brand-new missile, separate from its Nodong or Taepodong missile series.

"Personally, I was thinking that it was about the time for the North to show it off," Kim said.

The latest reported display of North Korean defiance comes as the U.S. Pacific Command confirmed that a air-defense assets are planned for Guam, according to April 28 Stars and Stripes report.

U.S. officials and experts have said that a North Korean missile attack on Guam will likely fail because the communist country doesn't have the capabilities to accurately target such weapons.

'Ready to go'

Any attack on Guam also would result in an "overwhelming retaliation" from the United States, according to Guam Delegate Madeleine Bordallo. The top Air Force commander on Guam has said that U.S. forces are "ready to go yesterday" should an attack happen.Also, such an attack would have to first penetrate U.S. military and allied defenses that include missile interceptors in bases and ships that line the Asia-Pacific region from South Korea and Japan to Guam.

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