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Pentagon urges N.K. to refrain from threatening regional stability after report of missile launch preparation

All News 06:06 January 28, 2016

By Chang Jae-soon

WASHINGTON, Jan. 27 (Yonhap) -- The U.S. Defense Department urged North Korea on Wednesday to refrain from any actions threatening regional stability following a report that the communist nation could conduct a long-range missile launch in about a week.

Japan's Kyodo News cited an unidentified Japanese government source as saying that satellite imagery suggests the North may be preparing to conduct a ballistic missile launch from the Dongchang-ri launch site in the country's northwest, and the launch could occur in about a week at the earliest.

"While I won't discuss matters of intelligence, I will say that the we urge North Korea to refrain from actions and rhetoric that threaten regional peace and security and focus instead on taking concrete steps toward fulfilling its international commitments and obligations," Cmdr. Bill Urban, a spokesman of the U.S. Defense Department, told Yonhap News Agency.

"We are concerned that additional North Korean provocations could heighten tensions, lead to a cycle of escalation and threaten the peace and stability on the Peninsula," he said.

A long-range rocket or missile launch by the North would add to international outrage over the North's Jan. 6 nuclear test. The U.N. Security Council is working on a new set of sanctions on Pyongyang, and the U.S. is also working on unilateral sanctions to punish the regime.

jschang@yna.co.kr
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