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Published:February 23rd, 2009 14:05 EST
North Korea Army

North Korea Is Poised To Test-Launch Ballistic Missile in the Coming Week

By Christopher HIllenbrand

A report released by the defense analysis group, Jane`s Defence Weekly, on Friday details that North Korea is prepared to test one of its nuclear intermediate-range ballistic missiles by the end of February.

North Korea

 

Satellite images obtained by the credible magazine source on Wednesday clearly show that Pyongyang is planning a trial run of either a prototype Taepodong 2 projectile or the Paektusan 2 missile designed for reentry from space.

According to Joseph Bermudez, an analyst for the publication, there has been a significant increase in launch preparation activity at the Musudan-ni Launch Facility.  He described that the data they compiled from reconnaissance revealed the site as a hotbed of nuclear arms production. The presence of telemetric equipment and radars and a constant inflow and outflow of military cargo trucks and armored vehicles into the location came as damning evidence. Further incriminating sights at the site include an inordinate amount of activity at the station`s engine test stand, and mechanical work reserved for pre-launch being performed on the launch pad and umbilical tower. As an addendum, he said the activity on the engine test stand entailed construction on the technology already in place.

 

This news comes as the next dismal chapter in the story between North and South Korean relations. As late as 2002, the two countries had engaged in aggressive naval attacks that claimed as many as 40 lives on both sides. In the past couple years both nations had negotiated a peace treaty based on trade agreements on mutual economic aid to be exchanged. But with the election of a new president, South Korea has put their pact on hold on the stipulation that North Korea denuclearizes its weapons program.

 

In retaliation, North Korea has since annulled all cease-fire accords, in particular the one delineating the Yellow Sea border as a temporary frontier. Mounting more tension onto the dilemma, North Korea boasted that the country is fully ready  for war with its neighbor to the south, on Thursday.

 

In a comment over the information coming to light, South Korea`s Defence Minister Lee-Hang-See said that Seoul would attack North Korea`s missile installations if their navy was fired upon in the Yellow Sea