Signs North Korea prepping to launch potential intercontinental missile

  • 04/09/2017
South Korea's defence ministry said it was seeing signs North Korea planned to stage more ballistic missile launches. Photo credit: Reuters

North Korea appears to be preparing to launch a ballistic missile that could be intercontinental, military chiefs in the South Korean capital Seoul have reportedly said.

South Korea's military says its air forces and the army have carried out a missile drill in response to North Korea's sixth nuclear test, adding the drills targeted the area where the test had been carried out.

The military training involved long-range air-to-surface missiles and ballistic missiles, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

Monday's drill was carried out by only the Korean military, but more are being prepared with the US forces in South Korea, the statement said.

North Korea conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on Sunday, which it said was an advanced hydrogen bomb for a long-range missile, marking a dramatic escalation of Pyongyang's stand-off with the United States and its allies.

Meanwhile, South Korea's defence ministry said in a parliament hearing it was still seeing signs that North Korea planned to stage more ballistic missile launches, possibly including an intercontinental ballistic missile.

"We have continued to see signs of possibly more ballistic missile launches. We also forecast North Korea could fire an intercontinental ballistic missile," said Chang Kyung-soo, a defence ministry official.

The defence ministry was called by parliament on Monday to answer questions about North Korea's sixth and largest nuclear test on Sunday.

The United Nations Security Council is scheduled to meet later on Monday to discuss Sunday's test.