U.S. officials say North Korea may be nearing launch
IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency
Tehran, Feb 6, IRNA -- Satellite images taken this week of North Korea's Sohae rocket launch site show apparent fueling activity seen in the past shortly before a rocket launch, a U.S. think-tank said, as U.S government officials signaled that a launch could occur as early as Monday.
North Korea has told U.N. agencies it will launch a rocket carrying what it called an earth observation satellite some time between Feb. 8 and Feb. 25, triggering international opposition from governments that see it as a long-range missile test, according to Reuters.
On Friday, U.S. government sources said U.S. intelligence agencies believed North Korea could be ready by the U.S. Super Bowl kickoff on Sunday, which will be Monday in Korea. Activity at the site was consistent with a launch in the time frame given by Pyongyang, U.S. officials said.
Commercial satellite images from Wednesday and Thursday show the arrival of tanker trucks at the launch pad, said Washington-based 38 North, a North Korea-monitoring project. It said the presence of the trucks likely indicated the filling of tanks within bunkers at the site rather than a rocket itself.
On Friday, U.S. President Barack Obama spoke by telephone with President Xi Jinping of China, North Korea's main ally and neighbor, and agreed that a North Korean launch would represent a 'provocative and destabilizing action,' the White House said.
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