North Korea is preparing to launch another intermediate-range ballistic missile in the next 24 to 72 hours, two U.S. officials with knowledge of the latest intelligence assessment tell Fox News.
The launch of the Musudan missile would be the ninth test launch this year, in addition to two nuclear tests by the communist nation in defiance of United Nations sanctions.
Neither official would specify what the latest satellite imagery showed indicating a launch was days away. The U.S. military is concerned that the Musudan can be launched from concealable road-mobile launchers, typically from highways or mountainous areas. North Korean officials have long expressed a desire to build a nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile to strike the United States.
On Monday, for the first time in 28 years, a U.S. Navy ballistic missile submarine visited the U.S. island territory of Guam in the western Pacific, according to Navy officials. USS Pennsylvania, the American submarine which made the call to Guam, can carry 24 Trident D-5 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) with a range of nearly 7,500 miles, capable of destroying any city in the world while submerged. Each Trident missile can carry multiple independent warheads, each one more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima during World War II.
Last week, the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said the goal of persuading North Korea to abandon its pursuit of nuclear weapons is probably a "lost cause."
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