Kerry warns North against missile launch

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Associated Press

Posted on April 12, 2013 at 12:30 PM

Updated Friday, Apr 12 at 12:33 PM

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry has delivered a stark warning today to North Korea -- saying it shouldn't test-fire a mid-range missile.

Kerry told reporters in South Korea's capital today that if North Korea's Kim Jong Un (kim jawng oon) decides to launch a missile in any direction, he'll be choosing to "ignore the entire international community."

He says it would be a "huge mistake" for Kim.

U.S. officials say if the trajectory of the test missile suggests it could threaten the United States or its allies, the military would move to shoot it down from one of nine ships armed with ballistic missile defense systems in the Pacific -- including two that were moved closer to the Korean peninsula.

While warning North Korea against the missile launch, Kerry tried to downplay a new U.S. intelligence report suggesting significant progress in the North's nuclear weapons program.

He repeated statements from other administration officials who've noted that the North still hasn't developed or fully tested the nuclear capacities it would need.

%@AP Links

171-a-05-(Secretary of State John Kerry, at joint news conference with South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se)-"and available capacity"-Secretary of State John Kerry says North Korea has not fully shown it can put a nuclear warhead on a ballistic missile. (12 Apr 2013)

<<CUT *171 (04/12/13)>> 00:05 "and available capacity"

170-a-11-(Secretary of State John Kerry, at joint news conference with South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se)-"in that report"-Secretary of State John Kerry says the Pentagon intelligence report that says North Korea is able to arm a ballistic missile with a nuclear warhead is flawed. (12 Apr 2013)

<<CUT *170 (04/12/13)>> 00:11 "in that report"

155-a-19-(Secretary of State John Kerry, at news conference)-"conflict would be"-Secretary of State John Kerry says what happens next depends on what North Korea's leader does. (12 Apr 2013)

<<CUT *155 (04/12/13)>> 00:19 "conflict would be"

GRAPHICSBANK: John Kerry, as US Secretary of State, salutes upon his arrival at Seoul military airport in Seongnam, South Korea, graphic element on gray (12 Apr 2013)

APPHOTO XTOK325: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, and South Korea Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se share a few words while waiting for a group meeting with South Korean President Park Geun-hye at the presidential Blue House in Seoul, Friday, April 12, 2013. Kerry is making his first-ever visit to Seoul amid strong suspicion that North Korea may soon test a mid-range missile. (AP Photo/Paul J. Richards, Pool) (12 Apr 2013)

<<APPHOTO XTOK325 (04/12/13)>>

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