Published: Wed, July 26, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

North Korea could carry out missile test soon, say U.S. officials

North Korea could carry out missile test soon, say U.S. officials

Thornberry, who is pushing for a $2.5 billion increase to the Pentagon's missile defense budget, said Congress and the Trump administration need "to take forceful, swift steps to see that the USA and our allies are protected".

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that over the past week intelligence has spotted equipment, possibly for launching an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) or an intermediate-range missile, moving into a site in the western city of Kusong.

"DIA and the South Koreans tend to be at the leading edge of estimates on North Korea's military programmes, and that's understandable", said one of the US officials, who both agreed to speak only on the condition of anonymity.

The sanctions come at a time when the worldwide community fears North Korea is preparing for new ballistic missile tests.

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Meanwhile, there have been reports from U.S. military sources indicating that North Korea could be bracing for another missile launch to be carried out as soon as this week.

There are indications that China could engage North Korea following series of missile tests by Pyongyang and the refusal of its leader Kim Jong-un to stop actions capable of endangering peace in the Korean Peninsula.

Trump's administration is also considering other economic steps including "secondary sanctions" that could target companies and banks - mostly in China - that do even legitimate business with North Korea, officials said.

North Korea will be able to field a reliable, nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile as early as next year, USA officials have concluded in a confidential assessment that shrinks the timeline for when Pyongyang becomes capable of striking North American cities with atomic weapons.

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"This test and its impact on our assessments highlight the threat that North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs pose to the United States, to our allies in the region and to the whole world", Bray said.

North Korea has not yet demonstrated an ability to build a miniaturized nuclear warhead that could be carried by one of its missiles.

Pyongyang's recent successful test of an intercontinental ballistic missile - the first by the North - has created even more urgency as the USA seeks to stop North Korea before it can master the complex process of putting a nuclear warhead atop a missile capable of hitting the United States.

China's U.N. Ambassador Liu Jieyi told reporters: "We are making progress, it requires time, but we're working very hard".

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