South Korea detects sign of possible planned North Korea missile launch

A man watches a TV news showing file footage of a North Korean missile launch, at a railway station in Seoul on April 28, 2016.
A man watches a TV news showing file footage of a North Korean missile launch, at a railway station in Seoul on April 28, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea has detected evidence of a possible planned North Korea missile launch, a defence official said on Monday (May 30), after Japan put its military on alert for a ballistic missile launch by the isolated state.

The South Korean defence official declined to comment on what type of missile might be launched but South Korea's Yonhap News Agency said officials believe it would be an intermediate-range Musudan missile.

North Korea made three failed launch attempts of the Musudan in April, according to United States and South Korean officials.

 

Japan put its military on alert on Monday for a possible North Korean ballistic missile launch, ordering naval destroyers and anti-ballistic missile Patriot batteries to be ready to shoot down any projectile heading for Japan.

A government official confirmed that an order was issued. The official declined to be identified as he is not authorised to speak to the media.

The order was first reported by state broadcaster NHK. A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence earlier declined to comment, as did South Korea's Defence Ministry.