N.Korea ready to test ICBMs, says Seoul

The United States is seeing activity in North Korea that indicates a possible future ballistic missile test, although the timing of the test and range of the missile remain unclear, USA officials told Reuters on Thursday.

According to 38North, his Musudan missiles - with a range of 3,500 miles - will be ready within a year.

The new missiles are analyzed to be about 15 meters long, shorter than existing North Korean ICBMs - the KN-08 and its upgraded version KN-14.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un guides on the spot the underwater test-fire of strategic submarine ballistic missile in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang on April 24, 2016.

"It was different from a conventional Musudan missile in its length and shape", a source told the paper, referring to the medium-range weapons tested by the country in 2016. Mnuchin emerges from hearing intact Overnight Energy: Perry makes his case to lead Energy Dept. | Dems alarmed by spending cut plans North Korea may be prepping missile launch to test Trump: report MORE, Reuters reports.

"I don't recognize the missiles from this description", Joshua Pollack, editor of Nonproliferation Review, told Reuters.

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A senior U.S. defence official said last month that the North has developed the capability to pair a nuclear warhead with a missile and launch it.

The North Korean Foreign Ministry had announced that the country could carry out an ICBM test "anytime and anywhere", as "determined by the supreme headquarters of the DPRK" in a statement released by state media on January 8.

"Soon our ICBM will send the shiver down its spine", the Rodong Sinmun, the primary publication of the ruling Worker's Party, claimed a few days later.

While this story talks about the test being of a long-range missile (an intercontinental range ballistic missile (ICBM)) the few details that have been made public don't seem to support that-although not much is known at this point.

North Korea has become increasingly bold in touting its nuclear capabilities.

Moreover, while there has been a ground test of an engine that might be used for this missile, it's not clear how close this missile is to actual flight testing.

  • Michelle Webb