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N. Korea deploys Musudan missile for possible launch around birthday event

All Headlines 10:54 April 14, 2016

SEOUL, April 14 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has deployed one or two Musudan mid-range ballistic missiles to near the eastern port city of Wonsan for a possible launch to mark its founding father's birthday this week, government sources said Thursday.

"North Korea has been detected to have deployed a Musudan missile(s) in the vicinity of Wonsan's Hodo Peninsula," one source told Yonhap News Agency.

"After deploying them some 20 days ago, the North has not withdrawn them," the source said. "Given the fact, North Korea is likely to venture a launch on the occasion of Kim Il-sung's birthday."

On Friday, North Korea marks the 104th birthday of the late North Korean founder and leader Kim Il-sun.

The North has celebrated the "Day of the Sun" with elaborate military events in the past, with experts predicting that the event for this year will be marked with a ballistic missile launch.

Other military sources said the missile or the missiles were loaded onto a transporter-erector-launcher or TEL, a mobile missile launcher.

If the launch takes place, it will be North Korea's first test-launch of the intermediate-range ballistic missile also known as BM-25.

With a range of up to 4,000 kilometers, the missile could fly over South Korea and Japan to reach as far as Guam, where United States military forces are stationed.

Sources said North Korea may inform the International Maritime Organization, a global shipping regulation body, of its launch plan before pushing ahead, but the country doesn't seems to have taken such a step yet.

pbr@yna.co.kr

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