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Subject North Korea "a Button-Click" from Launching Missle
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Original Message N.Korea 'a Button-Click' from Launching Missile

Warnings that North Korea appears close to test-firing an intercontinental missile are escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula. North Korea appears to have completed injecting liquid fuel into a long-range ballistic missile, the final stage before the launch, intelligence authorities in the U.S. and Korea said Sunday. That signals a turning point this week since the missile should either be fired or the fuel removed within 24 hours of fuel injection. All that remains is “the click of a button,” a Foreign Ministry official said.

But bad weather near Musudanri, North Hamgyong Province where the launch pad is deployed is reportedly making it difficult to conduct an immediate test launch of the Taepodong 2-type missile. “It’s likely that weather conditions will remain unfavorable to a test on Monday,” a military official said.

The government on Sunday urged North Korea to refrain from test-firing the missile while the U.S. is reportedly pressuring the North through China. Whether that works will be the key to the issue, experts say.
Washington said Friday it will not sit idle. “We, of course, will take necessary preparatory steps to track any potential activities and to protect ourselves,” State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said. Such “protective steps” are presumed to include intercepting the missile at an early stage with Aegis destroyers in the East Sea.

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso warned if the missile is dropped on Japan, “it will be regarded as an attack." Tokyo says it will refer the matter to the UN Security Council for sanction.

url: [link to english.chosun.com]
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