The United States warned North Korea Tuesday that any testing of its longest-range missile would be seen as “provocative,” amid signs the reclusive Stalinist state could be preparing a launch.
“North Korea’s missile activities and, you know, missile programs are a concern to the region. There’s no secret there,” said State Department spokesman Robert Wood.
“And alaunch by would be unhelpful and, frankly, provocative.”
Earlier a US counter-proliferation official said there were signs that “the North Koreans are preparing for a South Korea and in the region.launch,” in a move which would heighten spiralling tensions with
“Whether it will carry out the launch or not is entirely unclear, as is the timing for a possible launch,” said the official, who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity.
A source quoted bysaid US and South Korean intelligence agencies had recently spotted a train carrying a long cylindrical object believed to be a Taepodong-2 missile which is theoretically capable of hitting the United States.
Launch preparations were likely to be completed in a month or two at a new west coast site, the source said. South Korea’s defence ministry and National Intelligence Service refused to comment.