north korea

North Korea missile test could happen at any time, Pentagon and South Korean officials say

by  |  published on April 11, 2013

A North Korea missile test could occur “at any time,” Senior Pentagon officials tell Fox News, after two Musudan mobile missile launchers have been positioned on the country’s east coast.

South Korea’s foreign minister told lawmakers Wednesday that the prospect of a North Korean missile launch is “considerably high,” as Pyongyang prepared to mark the April 15 birthday of its founder, historically a time when it seeks to draw the world’s attention with dramatic displays of military power.

The medium-range Musudan missile has a range of 2,180 miles capable of flying over Japan, Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se told lawmakers in Seoul. Earlier a Defense Ministry official said launch preparations appeared to be complete.

If the Musudan missile is launched, it would be the first mobile test of this weapon, giving military officials another layer of uncertainty about the potential for a mistake.

North Korean officials have not announced plans to launch the missile, but have told foreign diplomats in Pyongyang that it will not be able to guarantee their safety starting Wednesday. It has also urged tourists in South Korea to take cover, warning a nuclear war was imminent. However, most diplomats and foreign residents appeared to be staying put.

The largest border crossing between North Korea and China was also closed to tourist groups Wednesday, the Sydney Morning Herald reports, citing a Chinese official.

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