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US experts fear North Korea could launch missile ‘within days’: Govt sources

US President Donald Trump has designated North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism, allowing the United States to impose additional sanctions and penalties against Pyongyang.

world Updated: Nov 28, 2017 23:40 IST
This undated photo released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on November 28, 2017 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un at the newly built Sunchon Catfish Farm in South Pyongan Province. (AFP)

US government experts think North Korea could conduct a new missile test within days, in what would be its first launch since it fired a missile over Japan in mid-September, two authoritative US government sources said on Tuesday.

One of the US sources, who did not want to be identified, said the United States had evidence that Japanese reports about the monitoring of signals suggesting North Korea was preparing a new missile test were accurate.

Both sources said US government experts believed a new test could occur “within days.”

A Japanese government source said earlier on Tuesday that Japan had detected radio signals suggesting North Korea may be preparing another ballistic missile launch, although such signals were not unusual and satellite images did not show fresh activity.

Other US intelligence officials have noted North Korea has previously sent deliberately misleading signs of preparations for missile and nuclear tests, in part to mask real preparations, and in part to test US and allied intelligence on its activities.

After firing missiles at a rate of about two or three a month since April, North Korean missile launches paused in September, after it fired a missile that passed over Japan’s northern Hokkaido island on September 15.

First Published: Nov 28, 2017 23:40 IST