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N. Korea's nuke, missile 'realistic' threat: defense minister

2017/01/27 13:18

SEOUL, Jan. 27 (Yonhap) -- South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo said Friday Pyongyang's nuclear and missile provocations are a "direct and realistic" threat to the country, claiming the military should get fully prepared.

Han's remark came during his visit to a military base to encourage soldiers for the Lunar New Year's holidays.

"North Korea is making threats of nuclear development and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) this year as well," Han said.

"Pyongyang's missile threat against the Seoul metropolitan area where key facilities and population are concentrated is directly linked to the nation's security," he added. "Thus, there should be no weak point in preparation."

   Experts said North Korea is likely to test-fire an ICBM in the near future to mark late leader Kim Jong-il's birthday on Feb. 16.

South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo (Yonhap) South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo (Yonhap)

colin@yna.co.kr

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