No signs of North Korea preparing to test-fire ballistic missiles: South


South Korea has not yet registered obvious signs that North Korea is preparing to test-fire ballistic missiles, Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-sok told a briefing on Thursday.


Commenting on Japanese media reports that Pyongyang is preparing to test-fire long-range ballistic missiles next week, Kim said: “New North Korean provocations will happen unexpectedly, in the manner typical for Pyongyang.”

He added that South Korea is “closely watching” North’s actions.

The spokesman reminded that before test-firing ballistic missiles, Pyongyang has to announce closure of the area where vessels and aircraft are prohibited for security concerns.

He added that test-firing missiles will be a violation of UN Security Council resolutions on North Korea.

Japanese news agency Kyodo reported earlier Thursday that recent satellite images indicate that North Korea is preparing to test-fire long-range ballistic missiles.

North Korea announced on January 6 that it had successfully conducted a hydrogen bomb test.

The country’s government said in a statement circulated by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) that the test had had “no adverse impacts on the environmental situation.”

Now, according to the statement, North Korea “possesses the strongest deterrent forces.” North Korea previously conducted three nuclear tests: in 2006, in 2009 and in 2013.

Following these tests, the United Nations Security Council imposed various sanctions on Pyongyang. In the past two years, North Korea refrained from nuclear tests limiting itself to ballistic missile launches as a response to the US-South Korea large-scale military drills.

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