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South Korea: North Korea has moved missile to its east coast

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea has moved a missile with "considerable range" to its east coast, South Korea's defense minister said Thursday, but he added that there are no signs that Pyongyang is preparing for a full-scale conflict.

The report came hours after North Korea's military warned that it has been authorized to attack the U.S. using "smaller, lighter and diversified" nuclear weapons. It was the North's latest war cry against America in recent weeks. The reference to smaller weapons could be a claim that Pyongyang has improved its nuclear technology. Or a bluff.

South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin said he did not know the reasons behind the North's missile movement, and that it "could be for testing or drills."

He dismissed reports in Japanese media that the missile could be a KN-08, which is believed to be a long-range missile that if operable could hit the United States.

Kim told lawmakers at a parliamentary committee meeting that the missile has "considerable range" but not enough to hit the U.S. mainland.

The range he described could refer to a mobile North Korean missile known as the Musudan, which has a range of 3,000 kilometers (1,800 miles). That would make Japan and South Korea potential targets — along with U.S. bases in both countries — but there are doubts about the missile's accuracy.

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