North Korea may test new ballistic missiles, says South

North Korea may be preparing for to test-launch an upgraded prototype of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), South Korea's "Chosun Ilbo" newspaper reported on Thursday.

North Korea may test new ballistic missiles, says South

North Korea may be preparing for to test-launch an upgraded prototype of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), South Korea's "Chosun Ilbo" newspaper reported on Thursday.

The report that intelligence agencies had observed missile parts, believed to be the lower-half of an ICBM, being mobilised in the North, raising fears of an imminent missile test.

In his new year’s speech the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, boasted that a test launch would happen soon and state media has said a launch could come at any time.


That test launch could coincide with the inauguration of Donald Trump as president on Friday, South Korean media said.

North Korea has in the past paraded mockups of a road-hauled missile believed to be an ICBM design that has been dubbed KN-08 by outside observers. It is also believed to have an upgraded version of the missile, known as the KN-14.

A road-hauled ICBM, which could be kept hidden or moving until it was fired, would make the job of tracking and stopping a North Korean missile launch much more difficult.

The suspected ICBM spotted by South Korea was made up of two parts under 15 metres (49ft) long, and was shorter than the KN-08 and KN-14, the Yonhap News Agency said, also citing military sources.

The Washington-based think tank, 38 North, also reported Thursday that Pyongyang had restarted operation at its Yongbyon nuclear facility where it is believed to be able to reprocess polonium used in its nuclear warheads.

North Korea's missile program has seen the isolated country repeatedly sanctioned by the UN Security Council.