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'NKorea has 100 sites linked to nuclear programme'

world Updated: Oct 05, 2009 16:13 IST

PTI
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South Korea knows the locations of about 100 sites linked to North Korea's clandestine nuclear programme and has the capability to strike them if an attack from the communist neighbour is imminent, its defence minister said on Monday.

"There are about 100 sites related to the nuclear" programme in North Korea, South Korean Defence Minister Kim Tae-young told lawmakers.

"We have a complete list of them," he said, expressing confidence his forces could strike any of them "if it is absolutely clear a North Korean offensive is imminent."

The comment came after Kim said at a parliamentary hearing last month that he knew of sites where the North could be hiding its stockpile of nuclear arms if it had one.

"We have sufficient information as to the locations where items related to the nuclear programme are stored and the delivery means are placed," Yonhap news agency quoted the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as saying.

Kim's remark came as Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao is in North Korea for high-level talks, including to persuade Pyongyang to return to the six-way negotiations on nuclear disarmament.