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Subject (((BREAKING VIDEO UP)))North Korea Accelerates Preparation For Missile Launch That Can Hit US, Missile Is Now Fueled!
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Original Message [link to times.hankooki.com]

Continuous preparations at a North Korea intercontinental ballistic missile launch site are leading U.S. officials to believe the North will go ahead with a missile test, possibly as early as this weekend, Reuters reported Friday.

``The North Koreans have been working on it for a while without much of a let up. We think they are speeding up,¡¯¡¯ Reuters quoted an anonymous U.S. official as saying.

The official said there were many people working at the test site, and hinted that the assembly of Taepodong 2 missile components on the launch pad may have begun.

If the North does carry out the test, it will be in violation of an agreement Japan reached with North Korea in 2002, Japan's chief cabinet secretary, Shinzo Abe, said Friday.

The North fired a Taepodong 1 missile over Japan in 1998.

Japanese media began reporting activity at the launch site in early May, and whether or not the North would carry out a test has been a top news issue in the South Korean media since early this week.

South Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Ban Ki-moon urged the North Wednesday not to carry out the test on the grounds that it will further delay the six-party talks to end the North¡¯s nuclear program.

American Ambassador to Seoul, Alexander Vershbow, said Wednesday that the United States would view the test ``as a very serious matter,¡¯¡¯ and ``would take appropriate measures in response.¡¯¡¯

North Korea does not currently have an operational missile that can strike the United States and some officials believe Pyongyang will conduct the test to find out if this missile works, Reuters reported.

The Taepodong 2, the two-stage successor to the 2,500-km range Taepodong 1, has an estimated maximum range of 6,700 km that would make it capable of reaching Alaska.

U.S. intelligence estimates that a three-stage version of the missile would be able to hit ``most of the continental United States,¡¯¡¯ according to a recent report by Monterey Institute¡¯s Center for Non- proliferation Studies.

But the report stressed the missile¡¯s `` probable inaccuracy¡¯¡¯ and the fact that the North has not demonstrated an ability to make a nuclear weapon small enough to fit a missile warhead.
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