South Korea has raised its military alert level and stepped up monitoring of North Korea, local news reports said Wednesday, amid indications that the Pyongyang regime could be preparing for a missile test.
Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se told South Korean lawmakers that there was a “considerably high” possibility that North Korea would launch a test missile after weeks of escalating threats, the Associated Press reported. The missile is believed to be capable of flying over Japan, he said.
Angered by the annual joint U.S.-South Korean military drills and a new round of United Nations sanctions, North Korea has threatened attacks, urged foreigners to evacuate from the North and the South and declared itself to be in a “state of war” with its neighbor.
U.S. and South Korean military officials have waved off much of the fiery talk from Pyongyang as unhelpful bluster, but say North Korea recently moved at least one intermediate-range missile to its east coast, a possible sign of an upcoming weapons test.