Seoul, Apr 26 : North Korea is believed to have placed a new, powerful mid-range missile on standby for an impending launch, a news report said today. The reported launch plans came two days after North Korea claimed to have successfully test-fired a ballistic missile from a submarine in a continuation of its weapons tests amid ongoing South Korea-US military drills. Seoul officials said the launch happened Saturday but could not confirm whether it was a success. Also Read - North Korea's Kim Jong-Un Elected as General Secretary of Ruling Party
Yonhap news agency cited an unidentified Seoul official as saying today that South Korea’s military had unspecified evidence indicating North Korea would likely soon launch a mid-range Musudan missile. Seoul’s Defence Ministry said it has no such intelligence. Yonhap said the missile on standby is one of the two Musudan missiles North Korea had earlier deployed in the northeast before it fired one earlier this month. (ALSO READ: UN says North Korea missile test ‘extremely troubling’) Also Read - Watch: India Successfully Test-fires Medium Range Surface-to air Missile Off Odisha Coast
South Korean and US officials said there was a North Korean missile launch on April 15, the birthday of the North’s late founder, but they have not officially confirmed it was a Musuan firing. US officials said the earlier launch ended in failure. A Musudan has a reach of 3,500 kilometres, putting far- off US military installments in Asia in range. North Korea typically conducts more weapons tests when South Korean and US troops conduct springtime drills that it views as an invasion rehearsal. Also Read - Google Year in Search 2020: Not Sushant, Joe Biden & Arnab Goswami Were The Most Searched People in 2020 | Top 10 List
This year’s drills end later this week. Last week, South Korea’s president said there were signs North Korea was preparing for a fifth nuclear bomb test amid media reports of increased activity at the country’s main nuclear test site. North Korea carried out a fourth nuclear test in January. Analysts say a new atomic test could happen before North Korea holds a ruling Workers’ Party congress in early May so that leader Kim Jong Un can burnish his image as a powerful leader at home and further cement his grip on power.