North Korea is probably getting ready to launch a long-range missile within a week.
The claim comes from an anonymous Japanese government official who referred to the analysis of satellite imagery. The North may be preparing for a long-range missile launch, satellite images of the Tongchang-ri missile test site indicate.
Japan’s Kyodo News reported the analysis of the satellite images revealed the missile could be launched as soon as within a week. The launch is expected to take place at a site which the North claims to use for launching satellites into space.
South Korean Defence Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said his country was prepared for the North’s “provocations.”
“Our military is prepared for various types of North Korea’s provocation and is … closely and continuously observing any signs of North Korea’s long-range missile launch,” CNN quoted Kim as telling reporters.
The spokesman added that the launch would be a “direct violation of a UN Security Council resolution. “It is our government’s official position that North Korea should not proceed with such provocative acts,” he said.
Kim added that the launch would be a threat to the stability and peace not only for South Korea but for the rest of the world as well.
A US official said recent overhead satellite images reveals the movement of rocket-related equipment, fuel and personnel into the facility in the northern part of the country.
Pyongyang could claim that it was preparing for launching a satellite. But the official also said the rocket in question can be used as an intercontinental ballistic missile.
US spy satellites have been constantly keeping a watch on the North’s Sohae Satellite Launching Station at Tongchang-ri. Pyongyang is already under scanner for its nuclear activities. UNSC members are scheduled to talk about fresh sanctions against North Korea on January 6.