Nightly News   |  April 04, 2013

North Korea moves missiles to coastal facility

The missiles aren’t capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, however they do have a range of about 2000 miles which means they are within reach of South Korea. NBC’s Richard Engel reports.

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>>> good evening. there's been another escalation in the situation in north korea . they have moved a missile with what's been described as considerable range to the eastern coast of north korea . remember, while this weapon is not believed to have are the power or range to reach the united states , the u.s. has agreed to protect its allies. most immediately, that means south korea and japan. here was the statement on north korea 's official news agency today. the moment of explosion is approaching fast. the u.s. had better ponder over the prevailing grave situation. well, all of this is enough to have forced the u.s. military to react in a precaution their response. we have two reports again tonight beginning with your chief foreign correspondent richard engel in seoul, south korea . richard, good evening.

>> reporter: good evening, brian. this may all seem random, even a little crazy, but there is a pattern here. from when north korea last tested a nuclear weapon in february to moving a missile today. it's all about recognition. north korea wants the world to accept it as a nuclear weapon state and to treat it as one. north korean state tv declaring the united states would be, quote, smashed with cutting edge small, light nuclear strike means. but pyongyang today went beyond talk. nbc news has confirmed north korea has moved a medium-range missile to a launch facility on its eastern coast, believed to be this facility. it appears to be a musudan missile like this one, not capable of carrying a nuclear warhead but with a range of about 2,000 miles, easily within reach of south korea and japan. the move could signal an imminent test-firing. the u.s. sending an anti- ballistic missile system like this one to guam could try to shoot it down. missiles aren't north korea 's only threat. it has the world's fourth largest army, one million active troops, thousands of tanks and artille artillery, most of it within 90 miles of the south korean border. in south korea where military exercises with the u.s. continue, there is no panic. the streets are as crowded as ever. south koreans have been watching the north for a long time and have some advice for americans now being threatened with nuclear war . be prepared, they say. but don't be overly concerned. north korea wants the attention. it wants to be feared.

>> if that's what north korea wants us to be -- to be scared and then afraid, then we won't give in to that.

>> reporter: the threat to the u.s. may be limited but washington isn't ignoring it, especially now that military hardware is on the move. kim jong un apparently feels if the united states fears him he'll be immune from foreign invasion and more secure at home. brian?

>> richard engel live for us once again tonight from seoul, south korea . richard, thanks.