North Korea places long-range nuke missiles on mobile launchers as it threatens ‘nice surprise’ for Donald Trump inauguration
Scary news comes as satellite images show ‘increased activity at one of the rogue state’s major nuclear sites…
NORTH Korea is ‘readying two intercontinental ballistic missiles’ to ‘nuke’ Donald’s Trump inauguration, it’s been reported.
Military officials say the rogue state wants to send a “strategic message” to the incoming US President by timing launches to ruin his big day tomorrow.
In a statement, South Korea’s Joint Chief of Staff said the reports could not be confirmed but said the military was monitoring the situation closely.
However, according to news reports in South Korea two missiles have already been placed on mobile launchers.
The devices “are estimated to not exceed 15 meters (50 feet) in length, making them shorter than the North’s existing ICBMs.”
A news agency quoted unnamed military officials as saying the North was attempting to send a “strategic message” to incoming Trump ahead of his inauguration tomorrow.
An ICBM test in the coming days is “highly plausible,” Andrei Lankov, a professor at Seoul’s Kookmin University, told CNN.
“Judging by earlier behaviour they usually like to greet a newly elected American president with some kind of nice surprise like a nuclear (test) or missile launch,” he said.
“Because President-elect Trump tweeted that ‘it won’t happen,’ such a launch could be seen as a serious humiliation for (the US).”
The news comes as satellite imagery shows increased activity at a major North Korean nuclear site, according to a new report.
Any potential ICBM test, while a propaganda win for Pyongyang, would also reveal a great deal about the progress of North Korea’s weapons programme.
Military experts predicted that any test would only involve a missile with a range of under 2,500 kilometers (1,550 miles), less than half the usual ICBM range of 5,500 km (3,400 miles).
US-based monitoring project 38North said evidence suggested Pyongyang may also be preparing to resume operations at a plutonium production reactor at the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center 90 kilometers (55 miles) north of the capital.
“Stepped-up activities throughout the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center indicate that it is operating at a level somewhat above what has been observed during the past five years,” the report said.
“The exact implications of that activity remain unclear except to reaffirm that the Yongbyon facility remains the center of North Korea’s nuclear programme.”
Plutonium from the Yongbyon reactor is believed to have been used in North Korea’s nuclear weapons tests, according to a US government report.
Traditional nuclear weapons use plutonium (or uranium) as their main fuel. The “Fat Man” bomb the US dropped on Nagasaki used 14 pounds of plutonium, producing a blast equivalent to about 21,000 tons of TNT.