In the last two years, North Korea has increased the size of its estimated missile arsenal by 25 percent to 1,000 weapons, South Korean Defense Minister Kim Tae-young asserted today (see GSN, March 9).
The North's cache of missiles includes intermediate-range ballistic missiles, Rodongs and Scuds, said a ministry spokeswoman to Agence France-Presse. In 2008, the agency believed that Pyongyang had 800 missiles.
A significant number of the missiles are fielded close to the two nations' border and are aimed at Seoul and other sites within South Korea, officials have said.
The Yonhap News Agency recently reported that Pyongyang had established a new army detachment assigned to manage deployment of medium-range missiles that are thought to be able to reach U.S. military installations in Guam and Japan.
North Korea has also carried out three test-firings of intercontinental Taepodong missiles, which are potentially meant to fly as far as Alaska (Agence France-Presse/Spacewar.com, March 17).