05:12 GMT +323 September 2017
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    The intercontinental ballistic missile Hwasong-14 is seen in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang July 5, 2017

    US Satellites Allegedly Spot North Korean Missile Launchers Moving Into Position

    © REUTERS/ KCNA
    Asia & Pacific
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    US observation satellites have apparently spotted North Korean missiles being moved into position for what may be another launch – a move that may further escalate the already volatile situation in the region.

    US surveillance satellites have allegedly detected North Korean missile launcher movement which may indicate preparations for an intermediate ballistic missile launch.

    ​This development comes only a few days ahead of the upcoming US-South Korean military drills that are scheduled to begin next week.

    US Defense Secretary James Mattis warned that further escalation may swiftly devolve into actual war, adding that many young servicemen may find themselves in a wartime situation.

    It should be noted however that August 15 is celebrated annually in both North and South Korea as National Liberation Day, so the aforementioned missile launcher movements may be a part of some display of military might held by Pyongyang during the occasion.

    Furthermore, it appears that the North Korean leadership may actually be seeking to diffuse the situation as Kim Jong Un, rather than once again threatening to launch missiles at the island of Guam, declared that he would watch the US actions "a little more" to see if Washington "continues its extremely dangerous reckless actions."

    Dr Genevieve Hohnen, Lecturer in Politics at Edith Cowan University, told the news.com.au media outlet that Kim’s message actually contains “a clear — if buried — olive branch.”

    "We know what to expect from Kim. This isn’t the kind of statement that would be interpreted as aggressive — despite all the aggressive rhetoric. The fact Kim Jong Un says he will respond only if the US does not de-escalate the situation is significant," Hohnen said.

    Earlier North Korean leader Kim Jong Un declared that the US should make the "right choice" to prevent a conflict between their two countries, while ordering his generals to prepare for a possible military strike.

    Related:

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    Ukrainian PM Says Transfers of Missile Technology to North Korea 'Impossible'
    Ex-Navy Chief Warns Brits in North Korea to Leave Due to 'Risk' of Nuclear War
    Tags:
    movement, ballistic missile, escalation, James Mattis, Kim Jong-un, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK)
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