MOSCOW: North Korea is preparing to test a long-range missile which it believes can reach the west coast of the United States, a Russian lawmaker just returned from a visit to Pyongyang was quoted as saying on Friday (Oct 6).
Anton Morozov, a member of the Russian lower house of parliament’s international affairs committee, as well as two other Russian lawmakers visited Pyongyang from Oct 2-6, Russia’s RIA news agency reported.
“They are preparing for new tests of a long-range missile. They even gave us mathematical calculations that they believe prove that their missile can hit the west coast of the United States,” RIA quoted Morozov as saying.
“As far as we understand, they intend to launch one more long-range missile in the near future. And in general, their mood is rather belligerent.”
Tensions have risen in recent weeks over North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile programs as Pyongyang has test-fired several missiles and conducted what it said was a test explosion of a hydrogen bomb as it advances towards its goal of developing a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the U.S. mainland.
Morozov’s comments drove up the price of U.S. Treasury bonds, as investors, worried about the prospect of new North Korean missile tests, moved into assets the market views as a safe haven in times of uncertainty.