N. Korea Set to Launch 2nd Long-Range Missile

Weapon may be launched when S. Korea prez visits DC
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 1, 2009 8:06 AM CDT
North Korean soldiers are seen along the river banks of the Yalu river opposite Hekou, in northeastern China's Liaoning province.   (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
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(Newser) – North Korea is preparing to launch another intercontinental ballistic missile, according to South Korean media reports. Pyongyang is said to have moved its most advanced missile, whose 4,000 mile range puts Alaska within striking distance, to a brand-new launch pad and has forbidden ships from sailing the waters off its west coast. Several papers suggested that the launch might take place around June 16, when President Obama will welcome the South Korean president to the White House.

Sources say that the missile in question is a version of the Taepodong-2, which was launched in April and flew over Japan before crashing into the Pacific Ocean. The new northwest test site, nearing completion, is closer to the Chinese border and may be considered a more secure location than the previous east-coast site.