North Korea could ‘launch missile TODAY’ as South urges China and Russia to intervene

NORTH Korea has completed preparations for a mid-range missile launch from its east coast, officials in Seoul have revealed, while the South has appealed to China and Russia to intervene over the provocations 

South Korea’s Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se confirmed today that North Korea has moved a mid-range Musudan ballistic missile to its east coast and Pyongyang is prepared to launch the missile “at any time.””According to intelligence obtained by our side and the U.S., the possibility of a missile launch by North Korea is very high,” Yun said, adding that North Korea can launch the missile “at any time from now.”
The Foreign Minister said the Musudan missile has a range of 3,500 kilometers – which could hit the U.S. territory of Guam – and “it’s up to North Korea how far it would fly.”

South Korea fears Pyongyang could launch up to three missiles after weeks of threats, according to local reports.

One unnamed official told the Yonhap news agency: “There are clear signs that the North could simultaneously fire off Musudan, Scud and Nodong missiles.”

Yun added that his government has asked China and Russia to help restrain North Korea from making military provocations as tensions on the Korean Peninsula mount over the expected mid-range missile launch by the North.

“Throughout close coordination with China and Russia, the Korean government has been continuing to make efforts to persuade North Korea to change its attitude,” Yun told a parliamentary committee meeting.

South Korea and the United States have meanwhile upgraded their surveillance status in preparation for the imminent missile launch.

The United States “is ready” to intercept a ballistic missile launched by the North, the top US military commander in the Pacific has said.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye said yesterday that she is exasperated by the “endless vicious cycle” of hostile behaviour from the North.

The worrying appeal to Russia and China from the South came as speculation heightened that North Korea has pulled its ambassador out of the UK after a shipping container was pictured outside the London embassy yesterday.

Boxes were seen being loaded onto a large lorry parked outside the pariah state’s embassy – an ordinary home in Ealing, west London.

William Hague will today be discussing North Korea at meeting of G8 foreign ministers in London.

Mr Hague said: “This is about preventing conflict, resolving conflict, dealing with its consequences.”

Today, the biggest border crossing between North Korea and China has reportedly been closed, a Chinese official has revealed.
“Travel agencies are not allowed to take tourist groups to go there, since the North Korean government is now asking foreign people to leave,” an official at the Dandong Border Office said.Seoul revealed yesterday that foreign nationals in South Korea were told by the North to evacuate in case of a “merciless” war.”We do not wish harm on foreigners in South Korea should there be a war,” said the KCNA news agency, citing its Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee.

“The situation on the Korean Peninsula is inching close to a thermo-nuclear war,” said the statement.

“Once a war is ignited on the peninsula, it will be an all-out war, a merciless, sacred, retaliatory war waged by the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea),” it went on to say.

The remarks come as the communist country has repeatedly said it will turn Seoul and Washington into a “sea of fire” and launch pre-emptive nuclear attacks against its enemies at any time.

South Korea’s defense ministry has stated that the launch could come at any point and that the South Korean military is on alert for any scenario.

South Korean forces have been on high alert for an imminent missile launch by the communist nation, which was seen moving two Musudan missiles to its east coast last week and mounting them on mobile launchers.

Speculation had been building that North Korea could carry out a missile test as early as this week after dictator Kim Jong-un warned he could not “guarantee the safety of foreigners” after April 10.

Japan has responded to continuing threats from Pyongyang by deploying missile-defense systems at three sites around Tokyo ahead of the possible missile launch, officials confirmed.
The country’s defense minister has also reportedly put destroyers with missile interception systems on alert in the Sea of Japan.”As North Korea keeps making provocative comments, Japan, co-operating with relevant countries, will do what we have to do,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said.”The government is making utmost efforts to protect our people’s lives and ensure their safety,” he added.

Japan’s armed forces are authorised to shoot down any North Korean missile headed towards its territory, a defence ministry spokesman said.

“We are doing all we can to protect the safety of our nation,” chief Cabinet spokesman Yoshihide Suga said, though he and Ministry of Defense officials refused to confirm reports of a naval alert, saying they do not want to “show their cards” to North Korea.

Japan can also count on German solidarity in the face of the rising tensions on the Korean peninsula, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said yesterday.

“There is a clear message from the government of our country… that Japan can count on solidarity and other peaceful countries can count on that solidarity,” Westerwelle said.

“It is very important that we send a clear message,” he added

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