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US And Allies Monitor Signs North Korea Is Preparing To Launch Another Missile

KCNA/via REUTERS

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Ryan Pickrell China/Asia Pacific Reporter

The U.S., Japan, and South Korea are reportedly watching North Korea closely, because it looks like the country is about to test another missile.

“North Korea might launch a missile within the next few days,” a Japanese government source told Kyodo News Agency Monday. Japan reportedly detected radio signals suggesting that North Korea is prepping for a ballistic missile launch. The signals could also be part of the North’s winter training plans.

North Korea has not launched a missile in more than two months, as the last test was involved the firing of a Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan in mid-September. As a general rule, North Korean missile launches tend to inexplicably decrease in the fall.

Shea Cotton, a research associate at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, suggested last month that the North may fire off one or two more missiles before the end of the year, but he doesn’t expect the rogue regime to really start its testing program up again until February. North Korea launched its first missile this year in February.

“The South Korean military is closely monitoring and tracking possible North Korean provocations in collaboration with the U.S.,” said Army Col. Roh Jae-cheon, spokesman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, told Yonhap News Agency.

In addition to the radio signals Japan detected, South Korean intelligence has recently detected a flurry of activity at North Korean missile sites. North Korea has reportedly activated a radar unit to track missiles and brought new communication systems online. “More monitoring is needed to gauge whether the North is trying to launch a missile or is preparing for winter training,” a government source revealed.

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