The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is a country in East Asia, located in the northern half of the Korean Peninsula bordering South Korea and China. Its capital, Pyongyang, is the country's largest city by both land area and population. It is a single-party state led by the Korean Workers' Party (KWP), and governed by Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un since 2012. It has a population of 24,052,231 (UN-assisted DPRK census 2008) made up of Koreans and a smaller Chinese minority. Japan 'opened' Korea in 1876 and annexed it in 1910. The Republic of Korea (ROK) was founded with US support in the south in August 1948 and the Soviet-backed Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in the north in September that year.
North Korea preparing for missile launch
US satellites have picked up signs that North Korea is preparing to launch a long-range missile, a Japanese newspaper reported on Friday.
North Korea moved missile parts from its military factory in Pyongyang to a launch pad in Tongchang-ri in the country’s far northwest early November, the Asahi Shimbun said.
The US government has already informed its counterparts in Japan and South Korea about the move, the daily said, adding that the three countries had increased vigilance.
The developments came after North Korea carried out a failed rocket launch in April in what the communist state said was an attempt to put a satellite into orbit from the same launch pad.
According to the daily, images of the shipment recently taken by US satellites were similar to one used in the April launch.
Pyongyang is technically ready to launch a missile late November, but an immediate launch is unlikely ahead of South Korea’s presidential election next month, the Asahi said.
North Korea has not announced any plans to launch a rocket.
Immediate confirmation by the Japanese government was not available.
In Seoul, a South Korean defence ministry spokesman said it could comment on any matter of intelligence, while a presidential Blue House spokeswoman said she had no information.