The South Korean military says North Korea may be preparing to launch a long-range ballistic missile.
Japanese and South Korean sources say satellite imagery of a missile test launch base in Tongchang-ri in the country’s northwest shows increased activity of personnel and vehicles.
They also say the launch pad has been covered. When North Korea last launched a ballistic missile in December 2012, calling it a satellite, the launch pad was covered 8 days prior to the launch. The cover was to evade satellite surveillance.
South Korea’s Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok told reporters on Thursday that the North had abruptly conducted a nuclear test earlier this month and that further serious and sudden provocations are possible.
The spokesman declined to comment on the possible pre-launch activities at the site. But he indicated that South Korean forces, in cooperation with the US military, are on heightened alert.
North Korea is known to have newly built what it calls a satellite control facility last year. It also upgraded the launch pad at Tongchang-ri to accommodate the launch of larger missiles.
Source and image: NHK