North Korea may launch a long-range ballistic missile toward the U.S. state of Hawaii in early July, Japan’s Yomiuri daily said on Thursday, citing Defense Ministry analysis and U.S. intelligence.
The paper said the Defense Ministry believes the launch is most likely to take place between July 4 and July 8. The ministry has declined to comment on the report.
The paper also said that the missile was likely to fly over Japan’s Aomori Prefecture toward Hawaii, but would not be able to reach the main islands.
The missile, thought to be a long-range Taepodong-2, would be launched from the country’s Dongchang-ni site on the northwestern coast, said Japan’s best-selling newspaper.
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North Korea tested a nuclear weapon on May 25, accusing the U.S. and South Korea of aggressive intentions. Pyongyang said on Wednesday that it would meet any attack with “one thousand-fold retaliation.”
Following the underground test, the United Nations widened an arms embargo and authorized ship searches in an attempt to disrupt the communist state’s nuclear and missile programs.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Chinese leader Hu Jintao said after a meeting in Moscow on Wednesday that they were in favor of resuming six-nation talks to resolve the North Korean nuclear problem.
The six-nation talks, which involve North and South Korea, Russia, China, Japan and the United States opened in 2003, but stalled last November.