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N. Korea may test missile next week: US think tank

Published on Nov 30, 2012 1:23 PM
This Friday Nov 23, 2012 satellite image provided by DigitalGlobe shows the Sohae Satellite Launch Station in Cholsan County, North Pyongan Province, North Korea. DigialGlobe said Monday Nov 26 that based on analysis of the image, North Korea could be ready to launch a missile in three weeks time from the facility. -- PHOTO : AP

SEOUL (AFP) - Fresh analysis of new satellite imagery confirms apparent North Korean preparations for an imminent long-range missile test - perhaps as early as next week - a US think tank said today.

Speculation over a new test, following a failed launch in April, has intensified in recent weeks and drew a sharp warning Thursday from the UN Security Council to Pyongyang.

The US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University said new images provided by satellite operator DigitalGlobe clearly pointed to advanced launch preparations at the Sohae satellite launch station.

"If Pyongyang follows past practice in preparing for a launch, it could be ready to fire a rocket as early as the end of the first week in December," Nick Hansen, an expert on imagery analysis, wrote on the institute's website 38 North.

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