Seoul, Sep 9 (IANS) South Korea is on high alert as it believes North Korea might launch a new intercontinental ballistic missile over the weekend to celebrate the 69th year of its founding, an official said.
South Korea’s Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon said on Friday the country is exploring all ways to prevent the North from developing the technology to mount nuclear warheads on missiles, Efe news reported.
“Seoul also seeks to achieve North Korea’s denuclearization peacefully,” Cho added.
Last year, North Korea had conducted its fifth nuclear test to mark the 68th anniversary of the country’s founding.
Seoul’s intelligence services had said earlier in the week they expect the Kim Jong-un regime to carry out another missile test on October 10, when the country celebrates the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the Workers’ Party.
North Korea has recently sped up its weapons development program, drawing strong condemnation from the international community and a demand for the United Nations to toughen sanctions against the hermetic country.
On Sunday, North Korea had claimed to have detonated a hydrogen bomb that it said can be mounted on an intercontinental ballistic missile, five days after it launched a ballistic missile that flew over Japan.
The country had launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile, allegedly capable of reaching the United States, on July 4, followed by another one at the end of the same month.