North Korea moves missile to its east coast

(Al Jazeera) - North Korea has moved a medium-range missile to its east coast, South Korea said as the United States strengthened its Pacific missile defences amid escalating threats from Pyongyang. Seoul's defence minister Kim Kwan-jin said the missile could reach a "considerable distance" but not the US mainland, telling legislators it "could be aimed at test-firing or military drills". Intelligence analysis quoted by South Korea's Yonhap news agency said the missile was believed to be a Musudan which has an estimated range of around 3,000km or more. North Korea has been railing against US-South Korean military exercises that began in March and are to continue until the end of this month. The allies insist the exercises in South Korea are routine, but the North calls them rehearsals for an invasion and says it needs nuclear weapons to defend itself. Early on Thursday the North Korean army said it had received final approval for military action against the US, possibly involving nuclear weapons. "The moment of explosion is approaching fast," the general staff said. (Al Jazeera English)