North Korea may be preparing long-range ballistic missile launch: Report

A sales assistant watches TV sets broadcasting a news report on North Korea's nuclear test, in Seoul, January 6, 2016.
Kim Hong-Ji | Reuters
A sales assistant watches TV sets broadcasting a news report on North Korea's nuclear test, in Seoul, January 6, 2016.

North Korea might be preparing for a long-range ballistic missile launch from its northwestern launch site, Kyodo News reported on Thursday, citing a government source familiar with the matter.

According to the report from the Japanese news agency, the government source cited satellite imagery analysed over several days, and added that the launch could take place as soon as in a week's time.

A possible test would follow close on the heels of the detonation of what North Korea claimed was a hydrogen bomb this month, a move that was condemned by the U.S., Britain, Japan, and China.

The White House had said at the time that the initial analysis of the test showed not consistent with a successful hydrogen bomb detonation.

The supposed action could be North Korea's response to the international sanctions expected to be imposed on the already impoverished country after its previous test, Kyodo News reported.

At a meeting on Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi agreed on the need for a significant new U.N. Security resolution targeting North Korea after its Jan. 6 nuclear test, Reuters reported Wednesday.

North Korea's nuclear test violated a Security Council resolution and threatened the international nuclear non-proliferation system, Wang said, according to China's state-run news agency Xinhua

The Kyodo report can be read here

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