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South Korea Prepared to Pull Workers From Industrial Park in North Korea

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A South Korean minister says Seoul may pull workers out of a joint industrial complex in North Korea if their situation becomes dangerous.

Unification Minister Ryoo Kihl-Jae told reporters Friday that South Korea has no immediate plan to pull workers out of Kaesong, because for now, the danger to South Korean staff is not high. Ryoo gave no indication as to how the evacuation might be carried out.

The Kaesong industrial complex is the last link between the two Koreas and is the primary source of hard cash for Pyongyang.

The United States expects North Korea will launch one of its missiles in the coming days.

U.S. Defense Department officials told VOA Thursday that they have been preparing for the possibility of a North Korean missile launch in coming days and are taking Pyongyang's threats seriously.

North Korea said Thursday that its military has been given final approval for a nuclear attack against the United States - a threat that most analysts think Pyongyang would be unable to carry out.

South Korea said it has confirmed the North has moved one of its missiles to the country's east coast, and Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin said while the missile appears to have "considerable range," it is not likely it could reach the U.S. mainland.



South Korea's semi-official news agency, Yonhap, quotes officials in Seoul as saying the missile is likely the Musudan , a ground-launched rocket 12 to 19 meters long that can carry a conventional 1,200-kilogram bomb. It could potentially carry a nuclear warhead, but security analysts think that, too, is beyond North Korea's current capabilities.

The Musudan has a range of about 3,000 kilometers - far enough to hit South Korea or Japan.

Yonhap reported Friday that a second missile has been moved to the coast. The news agency quoted an unidentified government official.

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says the Pentagon is treating the threats seriously. On Wednesday, a Pentagon official said the United States will soon deploy an advanced missile defense system to the island of Guam, a U.S. Pacific territory, as a precautionary move.

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FILE - President Barack Obama waves as he boards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland en route to Southeast Asia, November 17, 2012.

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