North Korea appears to be preparing for a test launch of a new intermediate-range ballistic missile that would further heighten tensions in the region following an underground nuclear test earlier this month.
Test preparations for the launch of a road-mobile Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missile were spotted recently by U.S. intelligence agencies.
Signs at a remote missile base include indicators of fueling for the road-mobile Musudan missile, classified as an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM), said officials familiar with intelligence reports.
North Korea conducted an underground nuclear test on Feb. 12, prompting international condemnation. It was the third test since 2006 and raised new concerns among Western intelligence agencies about whether North Korea is close to fashioning a warhead small enough to fit on a missile.
North Korea in the past has conducted missile tests around the time of its nuclear blasts.
The Musudan has not yet been flight tested so the expected missile launch would be the first.
A Pentagon spokesman declined to comment.
U.S. officials told the Washington Free Beacon in early February that the North Koreans were expected to conduct a missile flight test around the time of their underground nuclear test. The missile to be test launched was said to be either a…