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Yonhap: N. Korea Readying Long-Range Missile Launch

  • VOA News

FILE - In this Dec. 12, 2012 file image made from video, North Korea's Unha-3 rocket lifts off from the Sohae launching station in Tongchang-ri, North Korea.

FILE - In this Dec. 12, 2012 file image made from video, North Korea's Unha-3 rocket lifts off from the Sohae launching station in Tongchang-ri, North Korea.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency says North Korea is preparing to launch a new long-range rocket later this year.

Quoting an anonymous South Korean government official, Yonhap says North Korea has completed upgrades at its Sohae launch facility, located near the border with China. The upgrades include installation of a 67-meter tall launch tower, which is capable of handling a rocket twice the size of North Korea's Unha-3 rocket, which put a satellite in orbit in December 2012.

The official says it has received intelligence that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has ordered the launch of a long-range missile in October to mark the 70th anniversary of the North's ruling Workers' Party.

Yonhap says it has learned from another official that the government has "detected signs of what appears to be the manufacturing of a long-range rocket at an arms factory near Pyongyang."

North Korea is banned under U.N. Security Council resolutions from conducting tests that use ballistic missile technology.

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