'Very High' Chance North Korea Will Soon Test Fire Missile | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

'Very High' Chance North Korea Will Soon Test Fire Missile

North Korea's next provocative move — the test firing of a medium-range ballistic missile — could happen at any moment, according to South Korean officials.

Bloomberg Businessweek reports that "the possibility of a ballistic missile launch is 'very high' and 'may materialize anytime from now,' South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung Se told lawmakers in Seoul today."

Bloomberg also notes that "any weapons test may coincide with the April 15 [next Monday] anniversary of state founder Kim Il Sung, the current leader's grandfather. North Korea last April 13 fired a long range rocket that disintegrated shortly after liftoff, then successfully launched another in December."

Officials from South Korea say the North has moved missiles and equipment to a launch site on its east coast. Any missile that's fired would most likely fly east — perhaps over Japanese territory — before falling into the Pacific.

Tuesday, as we reported, the commander of the U.S. Pacific Command said Tuesday that American forces currently have the ability to intercept a North Korean ballistic missile if necessary.

As Reuters adds, "signs of anxiety ... remained notably absent in chilly Seoul, long used to North Korean invective under its 30-year-old leader Kim Jong-un. Offices worked normally and customers crowded into city-center cafes." That's what NPR's Frank Langfitt was reporting for us on Tuesday.

We've been tracking the tensions on the Korean peninsula in recent weeks. Our other posts are collected here.

Update at 9:55 a.m. ET. Troops On "Increased Alert":

From Seoul, NPR's Frank Langfitt adds that "both U.S. and South Korean troops are on increased alert as Northeast Asia braces" for the possible missile test. But, as he adds in a report for our Newscast Desk, "most South Koreans think the war talk is bluster and that any missile test would be designed to frighten the South into making concession and getting the U.S. to sit down for talks."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Mia Wasikowska On The Sounds Of Camels And The Lure Of Travel

Melissa Block talks with actress Mia Wasikowska about her new film, Tracks, which follows a woman on a long journey with only camels and a dog for company.
NPR

Giving Chickens Bacteria ... To Keep Them Antibiotic-Free

What does it take to get chickens off antibiotics? According to Perdue Farms, an added dose of the "good bacteria" known as probiotics can help crowd out the harmful microbes that make a chicken sick.
NPR

Why Did Congress Kick The Can On Funding Islamic State Mission?

The president got approval for his plan to train and equip Syrian opposition fighters, but lawmakers didn't approve funds to pay for it or the broader air campaign.
NPR

Some Tech Firms Capitalize On Privacy

Steve Henn of NPR's Planet Money team profiles some entrepreneurs who are working on a novel business model to start up a new tech company. It's pay for service. What a concept.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.