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27 Jan, 2016 22:01

N. Korea to launch long range missile ‘next week’ – report

N. Korea to launch long range missile ‘next week’ – report

North Korea is preparing to launch a long range missile as soon as next week, Kyodo news agency reported.

The news agency cited Japanese government officials, who said that an analysis of satellite imagery has revealed possible signs of preparation for a missile launch.

On January, 6 Pyongyang successfully tested a hydrogen bomb underground – its fourth nuclear test. Following the immediate international condemnation, North Korea said the test had been carried out “neither to ‘threaten’ anyone nor to ‘provoke’ someone for a certain purpose.”

However, it then claimed it was ready to detonate a hydrogen bomb “capable of wiping out the whole territory of the US all at once.”

On January 16, Pyongyang issued another statement addressing the US, in which it laid out conditions that would need to be fulfilled if North Korea was to cease its nuclear testing. The “Hermit Kingdom” demanded that the US halt its “joint military exercises” with South Korea.

North Korea has repeatedly stressed the necessity of developing a nuclear weapon to stave off US interference in North Korean affairs, and a potential invasion by Washington.

In August of 2015, North Korea warned the US that it would “respond accordingly” if Washington did not cancel military exercises with Seoul.

Washington, however, said it had no intention of stopping the drills and would maintain its commitments to South Korea, which it proved by deploying a strategic B-52 bomber on a demonstrative low-altitude flight over South Korea four days after the North’s latest test.

Despite disagreements, both the US and China showed solidary when discussing a new “strong” resolution against North Korea on Wednesday. However, while condemning the January 6 nuclear test, Pyongyang’s ally, Beijing, said it would not support any sanctions against the North.