North Korea reportedly plans another missile launch close to U.S. elections

PYONGYANG, North Korea - For months now, experts have been debating whether North Korea, brazen as it is, would actually plan a missile launch during or around the time that American would be ...


• Unidentified U.S. officials warn of an imminent North Korea missile launch

• U.S. reportedly deployed Sea-based X-band Radar off North Korea

• Leaked memo shows late leader Kim Jong II sought friendlier U.S. relations

PYONGYANG, North Korea - For months now, experts have been debating whether North Korea, brazen as it is, would actually plan a missile launch during or around the time that American would be deciding on its new Commander-in-Chief. And now, two unidentified U.S. officials have stated that North Korea is preparing to launch another intermediate-range ballistic missile in the next 24 to 72 hours.

The officials, with access to the latest intelligence assessment, said this was based on satellite imagery.

The test launch of the intermediate-range Musudan missile could be timed to coincide with the U.S. presidential election on November 8, according to reports. 

The previous test conducted by the isolated nation took place close to the third U.S. presidential debate - a timely reminder of the challenge North Korea's fast-moving nuclear weapons programme will pose to the next U.S. president. 

North Korea, in defiance of UN and other international sanctions, has conducted repeated missile tests this year, with the most recent test on October 20, which is believed to have ended in failure when the missile exploded just after launch.

If the launch of the latest Musudan missile is confirmed, it would be the ninth such launch in the past eight months, along with two shockingly massive nuclear tests.

The report comes even as a bizarre propaganda video has been released which shows despotic leader Kim Jong Un showed off his military prowess by handling a gun, riding a submarine and even flying a plane. 

In the footage, the North Korean leader is captured displaying his country's apparent readiness for war - as well as his own skills on the battlefield.

The footage, which is more than an hour long, was released by Korean Central Television yesterday and later posted on the network's YouTube page.

Another propaganda video was made public recently and was said to have been filmed in 2014, which shows soldiers being put through their paces - including breaking bricks using their heads. 

The video shows the soldiers going through army drills as Kim Jong Un apparently looked on. 

The extreme exercises include having large rocks smashed on their stomach and being beaten with sticks.

The string of missile launches are among a number of provocations the North has undertaken this year in violation of the UN Security Council resolutions. 

The communist nation also carried out two underground nuclear tests in January and September.

To counter the North's provocations, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has said the United States will deploy a sophisticated missile-defence system in South Korea.

U.S. defense secretary Ash Carter also reaffirmed the extended deterrence protection by the United States of its key Asian ally.

The U.S., at its bases in South Korea, is considering the permanent deployment of B-1B and nuclear capable B-52 bombers, F-22 stealth fighter jets and nuclear powered submarines, according to defense and diplomatic sources. 

Meanwhile, experts have warned that a preemptive "surgical strike" against North Korea by the United States could backfire because nuclear-armed China may be forced to defend its neighbor. 

Think-tank 38 North said, "Surgery would rapidly descend into a bloodbath. Preemption would start a war.”

Earlier, Major General William Hix, of the U.S. Army, confessed World War 3 is “almost guaranteed” and will be “extremely lethal and fast.”

There are also reports that the U.S. has launched a secret weapon shaped like a floating 'golf ball' as part of moves to counter the nuclear threat from North Korea. The 50,000-ton radar system, with a structure similar to an oil rig, is capable of detecting and then directing rockets to intercept missiles.

The U.S. sea-based X-Band (SBX) radar returned to its home port of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, after reportedly carrying out a surveillance mission near the Korean Peninsula for the past month. 

It is one of the world's largest and most sophisticated phased-array X-band radar units.

Leaked memo shows Kim Jong II sought friendlier U.S. relations

An archived message posted on Wikileaks includes an extensive eight-page memo on the historic meeting between former U.S. President Bill Clinton and Kim Jong II when the former went to North Korea to seek the release of two U.S. journalists who had been detained in the country.

Bill Clinton, during his visit suggested to Kim Jong II a return to six-party talks in 2009. 

The memo shows evidence the two sides were exploring options, including six-party and bilateral talks, in an effort to defuse tensions in the aftermath of two nuclear tests.

According to the memo, “If the Democrats had won in 2000, the situation in bilateral relations would not have reached such a point.”

There is another documentary which reveals secret audio tapes of the late North Korean leader talking openly about his frustrations with the country's propaganda and film production. 

The recordings were made by two South Koreans who were kidnapped and held for eight years by North Korea. The two eventually escaped.

In the recordings, Kim is heard apologising to the duo for the kidnapping technique. 

The movie-obsessed leader also complains about the quality of movies his country has been producing and promises money and resources for the film industry.

 

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