Island 'plans missile test'
Taiwan is reportedly preparing to test-fire a missile capable of hitting the mainland in September even as the Presidential Office in Taipei condemned North Korea's missile tests as a serious threat to peace and stability in the region.
Speaking at a news conference at the Presidential Office yesterday, Cho Yung-tai, a close aide of Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian, said the North Korean government should have refrained from flexing its military might.
His comments came after North Korea test-fired seven missiles on Wednesday, including a long-range Taepodong-2 capable of hitting the US state of Alaska. But both Mr Cho and Taiwan's Defence Ministry stopped short of commenting on the reported plan by Taiwan to test-fire its own missile.
According to the cable news network Eastern Broad Media, Taiwan's Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology has succeeded in developing a Hsiung Feng III missile with a range of 600km that is capable of reaching the mainland.
Quoting unnamed military sources, the TV network said the institute successfully test-fired the missile last year and the next test would be scheduled in September.