A Japanese government official stated that the country had picked up some suspicious radio signals from North Korea which hinted at the possibility of another ballistic missile launch.
North Korea has been firing missiles regularly with two or three missiles fired per month. The firing began in April 2017 and was a constant presence in the world news until September. In September, Pyongyang launched a rocket that passed over Japan’s Hokkaido Island.
The signals, detected on Tuesday are not unusual for the country and Japan admitted that satellite images did not show any new activity. However, given North Korea’s fondness for nuclear weaponry, the signal has been taken very seriously.
Speaking to Reuters, an unnamed source from Japan’s Kyodo news agency stated that although the signals were “not enough to determine (if a launch is likely soon)”, the country was on high alert.
Japan believes that the launch could come in the next few days. However, Japan has also taken into consideration that the signals could be part of some sort of winter military training program undertaken by the North Korean military.
A similar report surfaced in a South Korean daily which stated that intelligence officials in the U.S, South Korea and Japan were on alert after picking up certain radio signals from North Korea.
When asked about the media reports, a Pentagon spokesperson stated that the U.S. was watching North Korea closely.
In a statement made to the press, he stated that it was “a diplomatically led effort…supported by military options”.
He added that “The Republic of Korea and U.S. alliance remains strong and capable of countering any North Korean provocations or attacks”.
A senior U.S. government source also stated that it would be unsurprising it a nuclear test were to take place in the near future.