North Korea activity suggests space launch

Washington: The United States has seen increased activity around a North Korean site suggesting preparations for a possible space launch in the near future.

US officials cited intelligence suggesting movement of components and propellant, adding the United States believed a test could take place even within a couple of weeks.

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UN slams North Korea nuke test

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemns North Korea's fourth nuclear test as 'profoundly destabilizing for regional security.'

"Our concern though is ... it's the same technology to develop ICBMs" (inter-continental ballistic missiles), one of the officials said on Thursday.

UN Security Council members were discussing fresh sanctions against North Korea after it conducted its fourth nuclear test in January.

The Pyongyang government is already under sanctions for its nuclear and missile programs.

North Korea last conducted a long-range rocket launch in late 2012, successfully putting into orbit an object it claimed was a communications satellite.


Western and Asian experts said it was part of an effort to build an inter-continental ballistic missile.

Earlier on Thursday, Japan's Kyodo news agency reported North Korea may be preparing to launch a long-range missile within a week.

South Korean Defence Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok declined to comment on whether there were pre-launch activities at the site, citing a policy of not discussing intelligence matters.

He said North Korea had issued no international warnings on navigation, however, as it has ahead of previous long-range rocket launches.


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