North Korea Makes Preparation for Possible Launch of Another ICBM – South Korea hints

South Korea hints Monday that North Korea is continuing to prepare for a possible intercontinental ballistic missile launch, a move that would further raise tensions a day after it conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear detonation.

Franspat gathered that Chang Kyung-soo, acting chief of the defense ministry’s policy planning office, told lawmakers on Monday that North Korea was making preparations for a missile firing, but didn’t give a time frame for a potential launch. The yen extended gains against the dollar after the news.

North Korea Makes Preparation for Possible Launch of Another ICBM – South Korea hints

South Korea’s spy agency said there is a chance North Korea could fire an ICBM into the Pacific Ocean, adding that the isolated state was able to conduct a nuclear test at any time, the Yonhap news agency reported.

North Korea had threatened last month to launch missiles toward Guam, which prompted warnings of retaliation from American military officials.

South Korea earlier in the day paved the way for the full deployment of a U.S. missile defense system while its military conducted a live-fire drill with North Korea’s test site as the virtual target. The Environment Ministry on Monday conditionally approved an environmental impact report on the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system.

That removes the final administrative hurdle for complete installment of the missile shield, known as Thaad, which China sees as a threat to the region’s “strategic equilibrium.” South Korea’s Defense Ministry said it would install the system’s remaining launchers “soon.”

The governments in Seoul and Washington were also discussing deployment of a U.S. carrier group and strategic bombers, Yonhap said.

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