Anchor: South Korea's Defense Minister Han Min-koo says North Korea is likely to continue firing Musudan missiles until it secures the actual striking capability to fire a long-range missile. Han made the remark in Washington D.C. after wrapping up this year's Security Consultative Meeting with his American counterpart. North Korea, meanwhile, has reiterated its will to keep trying to send a satellite into orbit, a statement seen to literally reflect its intent to master related technologies.
Park Jong-hong has the details.
Report: In a news conference after the annual South Korea-U.S. Security Consultative Meeting(SCM), South Korea's defense chief said North Korea is expected to test-launch more.
[Sound bite: Defense Minister Han Min-koo (Korean)]
"And, on one occasion they failed five times consecutively, and succeeded on the sixth time. So, for political purposes, they're conducting these Musudan launches and through these failed tests, they've shown their limits. I personally assess that Musudan launches will continue in the future."
In the wake of the North's unsuccessful Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missile launch on Thursday, Minister Han Min-koo said the road-mobile missiles could have been stationed in 2007 prematurely without having been tested.
He said that Kim Jong-un would have probably attended Thursday's firing which is presumed to have ended in failure.
German aerospace engineer Markus Schiller predicts North Korea is expected to make at least five additional attempts to test-fire its intermediate-range Musudan missiles in the future.
North Korea, on Thursday, released a statement and pledged to continue what it called a space program.
[Sound bite: Korean Central Television (Oct. 20 / Korean)]
"Our satellites will soar into the sky defying despicable ploys hampering our launch!"
On the last year of its five-year space program, experts said that the North could seek to test-launch an intercontinental ballistic missile.
Park Jong-hong, KBS World Radio News.
Source: KBS World Radio