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North Korea may launch missile this weekend

Reports say that North Korea has completed assembling the two-stage inter-continental Taepodong-2 missile.

india Updated: Jun 17, 2006 13:56 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
None
Hindustantimes
         

North Korea may test-launch a long-range ballistic missile as early as this weekend, Japanese media reported on Saturday citing several government sources.

North Korea has completed assembling the two-stage inter-continental Taepodong-2 missile, which is capable of reaching the mainland United States, near a launch site in a northeast of the country, Jiji Press news agency said.

Other government sources warned that the situation was critical, saying the Stalinist nation could launch the missile as early as today, Jiji said.

The Sankei Shimbun newspaper also reported, citing unnamed government sources, the 35-metre (116-foot) Taepodong-2 in the range of 3,500 to 6,000 kilometres (2,200 to 3,750 miles) could be launched tomorrow.

"The government ordered ministers concerning national security to prepare for gathering at the Prime Minister's Office quickly on Sunday," the Sankei said.

North Korea shocked the world in August 1998 by firing a long-range Taepodong-1 missile with a range of up to 2,000 kilometres over Japan into the Pacific Ocean, claiming it was a satellite launch.

First Published: Jun 17, 2006 11:12 IST