South Korean military on alert as North Korea prepares for missile launch

Korean media reports increased activity at an assembly plant and launch site in North Korea

File photo: Kim Jong Un inspects missile

File photo: Kim Jong Un inspects missile (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – South Korean media raised alarms on Monday, March 11, that North Korea appears to be readying a missile for launch.

The Chosun Ilbo reports that commercial satellite images have revealed trucks moving what are presumed to be missile components from an assembly facility in the suburbs of Pyongyang to the Tongchang-ri missile test site.

Last week, international media observed activity around the site, with reports indicating that North Korean forces were restoring the launch facility, which Pyongyang had previously agreed to dismantle in talks with the U.S.

In response to reports of activity around the plant and missile test site, White House National Security Advisor, John Bolton, said that Washington would be “pretty disappointed” if North Korea chooses to go ahead with a ballistic test.

According to previous media reports, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un “promised” President Trump he would not engage in any more missile tests, as a condition of future negotiations.

At the second Trump-Kim Summit in Hanoi in late February, the two sides failed to reach a deal because the two leaders could not agree on an arrangement that would permit the complete lifting of U.S. sanctions on North Korea.

A Korean security analyst at the Korea Defense and Security Forum, Shin Jong-Woo, suggests that Kim Jong-Un is planning to use the threat of new ballistic missile tests to increase pressure on the Trump administration ahead of the next round of negotiations, reports Chosun Ilbo.

The South Korean military on Monday, made a press statement, that they are closely monitoring activity around the key sites in North Korea, reports Wion News.

As North Korea appears to be preparing for a potential missile launch, a report from the Los Angeles Times reports that the North Korean regime is simultaneously lobbying for increased humanitarian aid through the United Nations, for assistance with a food shortage in the country.