Reports that North Korea may be preparing to launch a ballistic missile have prompted Japan to alert its military.
Reuters, citing sources with knowledge of the order, reported that Japan was bracing for a possible launch after activity at a North Korean missile site indicated that the country may be readying for a test launch.
"Increased activity at North Korea’s missile site suggests that there may be a launch in the next few weeks," one of the sources said.
The new information followed a report earlier Thursday from Japan’s Kyodo news agency that said North Korea may be readying to launch a long-range missile based on satellite imagery of its Tongchang-ri missile test site, according to a Japanese government official.
Japan’s defense minister has reportedly instructed the country’s Aegis destroyers operating in the Sea of Japan to be prepared to target projectiles from North Korea heading toward Japan.
Earlier this month, North Korea claimed to have successfully conducted a hydrogen bomb test, its fourth nuclear test. North Korea has pressed forward with its nuclear program despite U.N. sanctions.