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US Says North Korea Seems to be Moving Toward Missile Test


A senior U.S. official says North Korea appears to be moving forward toward launching a test of a long-range ballistic missile, but intelligence is not conclusive.

National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley said Tuesday the United States is trying to convince Pyongyang the type of attention they would get would not be constructive.

Mr. Hadley made his comments to reporters aboard Air Force One as he traveled with President Bush to a summit in Europe.

North Korea declared Tuesday Pyongyang has the right to test missiles, and is not bound by any previous agreement or statement. It has observed a self-imposed moratorium on missile testing since 1999.

The United States, Japan, and other allies, and the United Nations have urged North Korea to abandon any plans to for a missile test, and return to multi-party nuclear disarmament talks.

U.S. officials said earlier this week North Korea completed fueling a missile with a range capable of reaching U.S. soil. But South Korea said Tuesday it is not certain the fueling is complete.

The United States said Monday any launch of a long-range missile by Pyongyang would be considered a "provocative act."

The reclusive communist state last tested a missile in 1998.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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