NKorea prepares for long-range missile test: Report
Pyongyang is at the final stage before launching a Taepodong-2 type ballistic missile, according to media reports.india Updated: Jun 01, 2006 15:16 IST
The US and Japan have detected signs that North Korea is almost ready to test-fire a long-range ballistic missile, a conservative Japanese newspaper reported on Thursday.
Pyongyang is at the final stage before launching a Taepodong-2 type ballistic missile, the mainstream conservative Sankei newspaper reported, citing unnamed government sources.
The report did not explain what those final preparations involved.
The US military has dispatched a spy plane and the Japanese Defence Agency has sent a destroyer with advanced reconnaissance equipment and an attack aircraft loaded with radar-jamming electronics to gather information, the report said.
A Japanese Defence Agency spokeswoman said she could not comment on the report except to say Japan stays vigilant against security risks and monitors suspicious activities on a daily basis.
She declined to disclose details of Japan's reconnaissance activities and spoke on condition of anonymity according to agency protocol.
Japan's Foreign Ministry and Coast Guard officials said the report could not be immediately confirmed, and US military officials were not available for comment.
Japanese media, including national broadcaster NHK and Kyodo News agency, reported two weeks ago that North Korea had moved a missile close to a launch site.
Japanese and South Korean officials later confirmed the missile movements, but said there was no sign of an "imminent" launch.
NHK reported that officials said the missile was possibly a Taepodong-2 ballistic missile.