International

North Korea Moves Missile, Threatens To Close Factories Used By South

On Thursday, a South Korean security guard kept watch as South Korean trucks waited to enter the Kaesong industrial complex in North Korea. For the second day, the North blocked the trucks and workers from the South from entering its territory. i i

hide captionOn Thursday, a South Korean security guard kept watch as South Korean trucks waited to enter the Kaesong industrial complex in North Korea. For the second day, the North blocked the trucks and workers from the South from entering its territory.

Kim Hong-ji /Reuters /Landov
On Thursday, a South Korean security guard kept watch as South Korean trucks waited to enter the Kaesong industrial complex in North Korea. For the second day, the North blocked the trucks and workers from the South from entering its territory.

On Thursday, a South Korean security guard kept watch as South Korean trucks waited to enter the Kaesong industrial complex in North Korea. For the second day, the North blocked the trucks and workers from the South from entering its territory.

Kim Hong-ji /Reuters /Landov

Bear in mind that, as NPR's Louisa Lim has said, North Korea's regime is skilled at making threats. And fortunately, the most ominous of those threats have not been followed by action in recent decades.

With those caveats in mind, here are Thursday's developments in the latest round of provocative moves by the communist state. From Beijing, Louisa tells our Newscast Desk that:

— South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin says North Korea has moved a missile with considerable range to its east coast. Kim told the South Korean parliament Thursday that the North Korean missile is not capable of hitting the United States. He said the missile could have been moved for testing or for drills. So far, according to Kim, there's no sign of military mobilizations that could suggest preparations for a full-scale conflict.

— North Korea has said it may shut down a joint industrial zone within its borders where companies from the South get some goods produced. And for a second day, South Koreans have been blocked from entering the Kaesong industrial zone.

Update at 1:45 p.m. ET. North Korea Is Looking For Ways To Show "It Means Business":

Louisa will have more on All Things Considered later today. Patrick Cronin, a senior adviser at the Center for a New American Security, has written a report about the Kaesong industrial complex. He tells her that while North Korea could block South Korean companies from the project and try to run the factories there on its own, "the thing that North Korea [would] lack is buyers" for the goods — which now go to the South.

But North Korea is "looking for ways to demonstrate that it means business," Cronin says. "It's going to threaten the outside powers until they decide negotiation is better than pressuring North Korea, which could lead to war."

Click here to find an NPR station that broadcasts or streams All Things Considered.

Wednesday's headlines included:

North Korea's Brinksmanship: Same As Before, More Dangerous Or Both?

'Best Jobs In North Korea' Pay $62 A Month; Now They're Diplomatic Pawns

Responding To North Korea, U.S. Sends Missile Defenses To Guam

Amid Threats, N. Korea's Neighbors Rethink Defense Policies

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