Reports: NKorean missile arrives at launch site

North Korea has shifted its most advanced long-range missile - capable of reaching Alaska - to a new west coast launch site near the border with China, reports said Monday, in a move that threatens to further escalate tensions on the Korean peninsula, AP reported.

Pyongyang also banned ships from the waters off the west coast through the end of July, reports said.

The regime could fire the long-range missile as early as mid-June - around the time South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and President Barack Obama hold a summit in Washington, the Dong-a Ilbo newspaper in Seoul said, citing unidentified officials in Washington and Seoul.

The missile at the Dongchang-ni launch site on the northwest coast is believed to be a version of the Taepodong-2 rocket that the North fired on April 5 saying it was a satellite launch, the report said. The JoongAng Ilbo newspaper carried a similar report.

A new long-range missile launch would mark a significant escalation in tensions already running high after the North's April rocket launch and an underground nuclear test conducted a week ago. The U.N. Security Council has been discussing how to punish Pyongyang for the atomic blast.

North Korea also has custody of two American journalists, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, accused of entering the country illegally and engaging in "hostile acts." Their trial begins Thursday in Pyongyang.

Lee, hosting a summit of Southeast Asian leaders on the southern island of Jeju, warned the North against any provocation.

"If North Korea turns its back on dialogue and peace and dare to carry out military threats and provocations, the Republic of Korea will never tolerate that," Lee said in a weekly radio address, using South Korea's official name. "I want to make clear that there won't be any compromise on things that threaten our nation's security."

North Korea also has designated a large area off its west coast as a "no-sail" zone through the end of next month, an indication Pyongyang could stage armed provocations around the disputed sea border, the Chosun Ilbo newspaper said, citing unidentified intelligence officials. The paper also said the North could launch the long-range missile in two weeks.

Seoul's Defense Ministry declined to confirm Monday's reports, saying it does not comment on intelligence matters. But a defense official confirmed Sunday that U.S. satellites had detected preparations to transport a missile for a test launch.

In Tokyo, Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura, the government spokesman, said Monday that a long-range missile test from North Korea appeared possible.

"Given that North Korea has carried out a nuclear test, we can't deny the possibility that they will further test-fire an intercontinental ballistic missile," he told a news conference.

Japan's Defense Ministry predicted North Korea could launch a long-range missile within one or two months, the Sankei newspaper reported, without naming its sources. The paper said North Korea could simultaneously fire a mid-range missile.

The Defense Ministry declined to confirm the report.

The North's Taepodong-2 rocket managed to fly about 2,000 miles (3,200 kilometers) on April 5. The missile being readied for a new launch is believed to be an intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM, with a range of up to 4,000 miles (6,500 kilometers), the JoongAng Ilbo reported, citing an unnamed South Korean official.

That would put Alaska within striking range.

North Korea had threatened in late April to conduct nuclear and long-range missile tests, and restart its nuclear program, if the Security Council failed to apologize for criticizing its rocket launch.

Carrying out its threat, Pyongyang conducted an underground atomic blast last week. On Friday, it also warned it would take a further "self-defensive" measures if provoked by the Security Council. That threat was seen as referring to an ICBM test.

North Korea has been building the new launch site at Dongchang-ni for years. Last year, South Korean Defense Minister Lee Sang-hee told lawmakers that construction was about 80 percent complete. The site is now near completion, reports said Monday.

Pyongyang is believed to have weaponized enough plutonium for at least six nuclear bombs, though experts believe scientists have not yet mastered the miniaturization technology needed to mount a nuclear warhead onto a long-range missile.

North Korea conducted its first nuclear test in October 2006, earning widespread condemnation and stiff U.N. sanctions.

Months later, the regime agreed to a disablement-for-aid pact signed by six nations, but that process has been stalled since last year. North Korea walked away from the negotiations in April.

Turkmen products sold to various countries on exchange
Turkmen products sold to various countries on exchange
Iraq reports 6,552 new COVID-19 cases, 970,987 in total
Iraq reports 6,552 new COVID-19 cases, 970,987 in total
Yemen's Houthi rebels say launch drone attack on Saudi air base
Yemen's Houthi rebels say launch drone attack on Saudi air base
Loading Bars
Latest
Russia conducts over 126 mln coronavirus tests
Goldman Sachs invests $69 million in Britain's Starling Bank
Azerbaijan raises production of building materials
Turkmen products sold to various countries on exchange
Azerbaijan reveals number of entrepreneurs served by SME dev't centers
President Ilham Aliyev inaugurates newly renovated “Hovsan” and “Mashtagha” substations (PHOTO)
Iranian Economic Coordination Council discusses stock market situation
Ethylene production of Iran's Jam Petrochemical Complex has increases
Turkey sees increase in registration of Azerbaijani companies in 1Q2021
Azerbaijan reveals 1Q2021 cargo, passenger transportation data
Azerbaijan shares footage from Fuzuli's Sardarly village (VIDEO)
Clubhouse closes new round of funding that would value app at $4 billion -source
Global LNG trade expansion to see slower pace in 2021
Belarus ready to share experience, knowledge in agrarian sector with Azerbaijan - minister
Iranian currency rates for April 19
Eurasian gas production to near 2019 levels
Azerbaijani currency rates for Apr. 19
Austria's 1Q2021 import of Turkish grains, legumes surges
Turkey reveals 2M2021 cargo shipment figures via local ports from Italy
European gas demand to recover to pre-crisis level in 2021
Bushehr nuclear power plant remains safe during earthquake
Iran begins enriching uranium using new generation centrifuges
Iran's National Housing Action Plan price not to increase - Deputy Minister
Iran concerned over increase in COVID-19 infections - President Rouhani
ACG oil transshipment from Ceyhan terminal nears 63 million barrels YTD
Iran sees increase in number of new mines
Two dead in Tesla crash in Texas that was believed to be driverless
Iran records increase in licensing for establishment of enterprises
Iran’s GTC discloses volume of wheat purchased from farmers
Bank Keshavarzi Iran issues loans in Lorestan Province
Iran implementing plans for dev't of facilities in Persian Gulf Special Economic Zone
Iran shares data on exports of handicrafts from Zanjan Province
Oil drops as surging COVID-19 infections stoke demand concerns
Israel and Greece sign record defence deal
Armenia should abandon all territorial claims against Azerbaijan - Azerbaijani official
India's COVID-19 tally surpasses 15 mln, with 273,810 daily cases
WHO includes two coronavirus vaccines developed by scientists of Uzbekistan in drug candidates list
Brazil reports 1,657 single-day deaths from COVID-19
Сo-op in Eurasian transport networks may create new opportunities for transit corridors between Latvia, Azerbaijan - embassy
12 European football teams to form breakaway 'Super League' throwing elite game into turmoil
Turkey confirms 55,802 new COVID-19 cases, 318 deaths
Five diplomats to stay in Czech embassy inn Moscow - presidential office
NASA's Mars helicopter to attempt first flight Monday
Turkey extends condolences to Egypt over deadly train accident
Albania opens 2nd int'l airport
Four dead in light plane crash near Paris
Israel reports 130 new COVID-19 cases, 837,012 in total
Canada's Trudeau mobilizes federal workers to battle COVID-19 in Toronto and rest of Ontario
Rockets strike Iraqi military base hosting U.S. contractors, Iraqi military says
Number of COVID-19 cases across globe up by over 809,000 in past day
Iran intends to increase electricity exports
Africa's COVID-19 cases surpass 4.42 mln: Africa CDC
20 employees of Czech embassy in Moscow declared personae non grata
Uzbekistan may start producing coronavirus vaccines by year end
Iran, Serbia emphasize developing trade-industrial ties
Turkey's 1Q2021 export of ready-made clothes to Iran grows
Kutaisi Int’l Airport receives first Wizz Air flight from Vilnius since start of pandemic
Mexican president to propose extension of welfare programs to curb migration
Verstappen wins F1 thriller at Imola
97 passengers wounded in Egypt's train derailment: ministry
Czech ambassador summoned to Russian foreign ministry
UK records another 1,882 coronavirus cases, 10 deaths
Weekly review of main events of Azerbaijani financial market
Cuba's Raul Castro leaves the political stage
Azerbaijan increases silver production
Turkey develops innovative COVID-19 vaccine, minister volunteers
Uzbekistan to receive Sputnik V vaccine by late April
Immunization to be temporarily suspended over Easter holidays
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on April 19
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price again falling
At least 16 killed in clashes in South Sudan's Lakes State
Volume of cargo loaded, unloaded in Iran’s Astara port surges
Sudan calls on African countries to support reaching comprehensive solutions on Nile dam
Japan’s PM to Visit India, Philippines to Strengthen Regional Ties
Azerbaijan discloses number of COVID-19 vaccinated citizens
Azerbaijan confirms 2,144 more COVID-19 cases, 1,923 recoveries
India stresses fulfilling commitments for developing Chabahar
EAM Jaishankar to visit Abu Dhabi on Sunday
Sri Lanka to receive Chinese Sinopharm vaccine tomorrow
Biden names 2 Indian-Americans to key jobs
Ambedkar remembered on birth anniversary in Dubai
Shortcomings of multilateral system laid bare by pandemic, says Shringla
Maldives Foreign Minister meets Jaishankar, discusses regional, international issues
Israeli business interested in expanding cooperation with Kazakhstan
Number of licenses issued for launch of enterprises in Iran spikes
Delegation of Azerbaijani parliament takes part in events within session of CIS Interparliamentary Assembly (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani gymnasts take part in World Cup in Uzbekistan's Tashkent
Ford Otosan to suspend production due to supply issues
Georgian delegation to Participate in Spring Session of PACE
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for April 18
Azerbaijani hydroelectric power plants increase electricity production
China, U.S. agree on need for stronger climate commitments
Russia records over 8,600 daily COVID-19 cases
Azerbaijan shares footage from Saybali village of Aghdam district (VİDEO)
Serbia - gateway to European market for Iran - Deputy Minister
France to impose 10-day quarantine for travellers coming from Brazil
Azerbaijani Finance Ministry to engage archiving services via tender
Kyrgyzstan adds 244 new COVID-19 cases
Israel raises import of clothes from Turkey
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on April 18
All news