Security Council ups surveillance

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Security Council ups surveillance

The Blue House said on Tuesday that it plans to convene the standing committee of the South Korean National Security Council whenever necessary, with priority placed on any signs of long-range missile launch by North Korea.

“The review would prioritize any signs that North Korea [may be preparing] to launch a long-range missile,” a Blue House official told reporters before declining to elaborate further due to the confidentiality of the matter.

“The NSC standing committee is convening regular meetings and monitoring the United Nations Security Council resolution that will impose sanctions on North Korea,” he said. “Officials are also discussing military posture in the event of another provocation from the North.”

The Blue House’s announcement follows series of reports speculating that Pyongyang has been preparing for a ballistic missile launch from the country’s Dongchang-ri launch site in North Pyongan Province following its fourth nuclear test on Jan. 6.

An unnamed U.S. defense official told The Associated Press last week that the United States had seen activity at a ballistic missile test site that was consistent with previous tests.

Additionally, the North Korea-focused website, 38 North, announced that satellite imagery taken last week showed the early stages of preparation for a space launch at the North’s main Sohae launch site.

“We are monitoring the situation around the clock,” a government official said, adding that South Korea was closely watching the Dongchang-ri launch site to detect any movement.

The official added the government was keeping an eye on the area with the U.S. military’s reconnaissance satellite KH and the Korean satellite Arirang and sharing information.

South Korea has so deployed the anti-ballistic radar Green Pine on the ground and its Peace Eye early warning and control aircraft. The Aegis destroyer was also dispatched in the Yellow Sea.

BY JEONG YONG-SOO [kim.sohee0905@joongang.co.kr]

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