Seoul: South Korea`s military will stay on high alert as North Korea may fire an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) around the US presidential election scheduled for November 8, officials here said on Monday.
According to the military officials, Pyongyang may want to send a strong message to the new US President that it will not give up its nuclear and missile development programmes despite international condemnations and sanctions, Yonhap news agency reported.
"We are closely watching every move by the North Korean military at its Punggye-ri nuclear test site and other possible missile-launching sites. The military is fully prepared to respond to any provocative acts by the North," an official from Seoul`s Joint Chiefs of Staff said.
Both the South Korean military and the US forces stationed on the Korean Peninsula said they are utilising every available resource to keep close tabs on the movement of missiles.
The Musudan or BM-35 missile is an IRBM with an estimated range of some 3,500 km, which is enough to allow it to target the US Pacific territory of Guam. The island is home to many strategic assets that can support South Korean and US forces in the event of a conflict breaking out on the peninsula.