TOKYO/MOSCOW, February 12 (RIA Novosti) - The Political Bureau of North Korea’s influential Workers' Party ruled on Monday that the country needs to go ahead with launches of “powerful long-range rockets” amid a “grave security situation.”
South Korea’s Yonhap cited a report by the North Korea’s state KCNA news agency that the meeting’s participants “stressed the need to continue launching satellites of Kwangmyongsong series and powerful long-range rockets” and “called for staging an all-out action of high intensity for reliably protecting the security and sovereignty of the country."
Meanwhile, Yonhap’s sources in the South Korean government said that Pyongyang has pulled manpower and equipment from its Punggye-ri nuclear test site in a possible sign of a soon nuclear test.
The South Korean government has long been monitoring the situation at Punggye-ri as the North vowed on January 23 to strengthen its military capabilities and step up its controversial nuclear program. The announcement came as a response to the UN Security Council’s new sanctions on the country over the December rocket launch.
According to South Korean media, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un issued a secret order to put the country under martial law in preparation for a third nuclear test in its history. The test could be held either on February 16, the birthday of former leader Kim Jong-il, or February 25, the inauguration day of South Korean President-elect Park Geun-hye.