Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - NK ‘likely’ to launch ICBM within 48 to 96 hours: US

NK ‘likely’ to launch ICBM within 48 to 96 hours: US

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
People watch a news broadcast with file footage of a North Korean missile test, in Seoul on May 4. AFP

NK ‘likely’ to launch ICBM within 48 to 96 hours: US

North Korea appears to be preparing for a possible intercontinental ballistic missile test within the next 48 to 96 hours in time for US President Joe Biden’s visit to Seoul and Tokyo this weekend, CNN reported on May 18.

An official familiar with the matter told CNN that a government assessment shows that “things we have noticed in the past for a launch are the things we are noticing now”.

While the official did not provide specific details on the latest satellite imagery they observed, he said that the launch site is located near Pyongyang.

The US official also said the US believes the previous ICBM launches by North Korea had failed, exploding shortly after launch.

The two ballistic missile tests on Feb. 26 and March 4 were also observed to involve a new type of ICBM currently being developed by Pyongyang, the official said.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff refrained from commenting on the potential ICBM launch nor on the past launches, but said its intelligence authorities are closely watching the situation together with the US.

Biden is scheduled to depart for South Korea on Thursday (US time) and hold a summit with South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol here on Saturday. He will then take off to Tokyo for the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, a US-led regional security forum that includes Australia, India and Japan.

So far, the North has conducted 16 rounds of test-firing its missiles, ICBMs that are assumed to be capable of hitting the mainland US.

The reclusive regime also appears to be preparing for a seventh underground nuclear test at its Punggye-ri nuclear test site, according to assessments from Korean and US intelligence agencies. If carried out, the nuclear test would be the first in nearly five years since the last test in 2017.

The North is currently suffering from an explosive spread of Covid-19 which is testing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s leadership.

Observers here say that Kim may push to continue with the possible nuclear test and missile launches as a way to boost his standing.

THE KOREA HERALD/ANN

MOST VIEWED

  • Research key to Kanitha’s rep for expertise

    Sok Kanitha is used to weighing in on controversial issues using a confident approach that signals expertise and authority, and a recent video she made was no exception. Her “Episode 342: The History of NATO” video went live on January 16, 2023 and immediately shot to 30,000 likes and 3,500

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Knockout! Kun Khmer replaces ‘Muay’ for Phnom Penh Games

    Cambodia has decided to officially remove the word Muay from the programme of the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2023 in May. “Kun Khmer” will instead be used to represent the Southeast Asian sport of kickboxing, in accordance with the wishes of the Cambodian people. Vath

  • Artificial insemination takes herd from 7 to 700

    Some farms breed local cows or even import bulls from a broad for the purpose of breeding heavier livestock for meat production. One Tbong Khnum farmer has found a more efficient way. Hout Leang employs artificial insemination to fertilise local cows. Thanks to imported “straws”

  • New int’l airport nearly half complete as travel industry returns to life

    Construction of a new airport that is slated to serve the capital has passed the 43 per cent completion mark, raising prospects for a proper recovery in the civil aviation and tourism sectors as international travellers return to the Kingdom in increasingly large numbers. The figure

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,