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North Korea rocket raises nuclear stakes, poses threat to US: Analysts

Published on Dec 12, 2012 5:01 PM
 

SEOUL (AFP) - North Korea's rocket launch is evidence of a new ballistic missile capability that sharply raises the stakes over Pyongyang's nuclear programme and poses a direct threat to the United States, analysts say.

Although the isolated state faces a stiff technical challenge in shaping, fitting and accurately delivering a long-distance nuclear payload, Wednesday's launch marks a major upgrade of its potential strategic military ability.

"This launch certainly bolsters their credibility when they say that they have missiles that can strike the United States," said James Schoff, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

"It's harder to wave that off after a successful test like this," said Schoff, a former Pentagon official.

 
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