Images from satellites suggest that North Korea may be preparing to carry out a launching test for an apparent long-range ballistic missile.

Through some images that went public, the United States of America and South Korea have been able to confirm that North Korea is holding some suspicious preparations regarding missile launches. The type of missile remains unconfirmed as it might be related to ballistic missiles or a space vehicle.

North Korea may be preparing a launching test for an apparent long-range ballistic missile. Credit: Independent UK

Japan has shown its concern when reported recent activity at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station, this Thursday morning. A Japanese report said that South Korean officials have spotted load trains coming back and forth from missile factories to the launching stations. Maybe as a way of calming down nerves, a US official told the AFP news agency “North Korea does this periodically – they move things back and forth… There’s nothing to indicate it’s ballistic-missile-related.”

The US regularly monitors North Korea from space and officials believe that these preparations may be a sign that the country is about to hold a space launch, as space launches are developed by the same technology of ballistic missiles.

“North Korea has already tested tactical missiles having a range of 1,200-1,500 kilometers. Now they are trying to achieve a level of approximately medium-range missiles flying as far as 5,000-6,000 kilometers. It is pretty clear that such missiles will be capable of hitting not only South Korea, but also Japan and US bases in the Pacific. In all likelihood, if research proceeds at the current pace, North Korea will soon have at its disposal missiles with a range of 7,000-8,000 kilometers. These will surely be able to threaten targets in US territory,” according to military analyst Viktor Murakhovsky, as he said to the Russian News Agency, TASS, such tests constitute a real military threat.

December 2012 was the last time North Korea tested a long-range missile. They successfully launched a Galaxy 3 rocket into space that supposedly carried a weather forecasting satellite, but experts in the US and South Korea accused them of testing its missile capability which brought political sanctions. On January 6th, 2016, North Korea tested a hydrogen bomb that alarmed leaders among the world, meaning a violation of the UN Security Council resolution and could carry new sanctions.

Conclusions at TASS‘ articles said that there are no facts that confirm that North Korea is indeed dealing with ballistic missiles but research is still in progress. Whatever the case, the world public mind is in great alarm since ballistic missiles launches and unnecessary nuclear tests can cause concern among people.

Sources: BBC