North Korea readying for new missile test: Report
North Korea may be preparing for a long-range missile launch within a week, a Japanese news agency says.
Recent satellite imagery analysis shows the long-range missile launch from North Korea’s Dongchang-ri missile test site could come in about a week, the Kyodo news agency said on Thursday.
“In the past, North Korea always fired a long-range missile ahead of a nuclear test. But since it didn’t this time, we are concerned that it could launch one afterwards,” South Korean Defense Ministry spokesperson Kim Min-Seok said.
“We believe that North Korea could launch grave provocations by surprise without pre-warning from now on,” he added.
The report comes as the United Nations Security Council is discussing a round of fresh sanctions against already-sanctioned North Korea in the aftermath of its fourth nuclear test on January 6.
North Korea last conducted a long-range rocket launch in late 2012, successfully putting an object into orbit in what the West deems as part of Pyongyang’s effort to build an intercontinental ballistic missile.
North Korea is under UN sanctions over launching missiles considered by the US and South Korea as ballistic and aimed at delivering nuclear warheads.
North Korea accuses the US of plotting with regional allies to topple its government. Pyongyang says it will not relinquish its nuclear deterrence unless the US ends its hostile policy toward North Korea and dissolves the US-led UN command in South Korea.
Tens of thousands of US troops are stationed in South Korea and Japan.