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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Northeast Asia on edge ahead of possible North Korean missile test

(CNN) -- Countries in northeast Asia remained on edge Wednesday amid warnings from U.S. and South Korean officials that North Korea could carry out a missile test at any point.
Japan has deployed missile defense systems around Tokyo, some Chinese tour groups have canceled visits to North Korea, and U.S. radars and satellites are trained on an area of the Korean east coast where Kim Jong Un's regime is believed to have prepared mobile ballistic missiles for a possible test launch.
After weeks of belligerent threats and provocative gestures from Pyongyang, the situation on the Korean Peninsula is fragile.
Adm. Samuel J. Locklear, the top U.S. commander in the Pacific, said Tuesday that he couldn't recall a time of greater tension in the region since the end of the Korean War in the 1950s.

Before the two controversial long-range rocket launches that North Korea carried out last year, the reclusive regime gave ample warning to the world. But it is keeping everyone guessing about what it might do this time around.
Intelligence suggests that North Korea may be planning "multiple mission launches" in the coming days beyond two Musudan mobile missiles it has placed along its east coast, a senior Pentagon official told CNN on Wednesday.
The official did not have specifics on the numbers of other missiles and launchers spotted on U.S. imagery.
The official said the North Koreans are military "masters of deception" and may have planned all along to focus the world's attention on the Musudans while they plan multiple launches of other
missiles, which is a tactic they have used in the past.