North Korea reportedly mobilising ICBM-grade rocket overnight after nuclear test

US Defense Secretary warns of 'massive military response' to North Korea attackReuters

North Korea is thought to be moving another intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) towards the country's west coast late night on Monday, 4 September, shortly after Seoul warned there could be another launch soon. Pyongyang was spotted mobilising yet another rocket under cover of darkness to beat surveillance.

The hermit kingdom had conducted a major nuclear detonation on Sunday, which was preceded by at least three long-range missile tests since July. Hours before the controlled nuclear blast, the North had claimed it was developing a hydrogen bomb mountable on an ICBM.

According to South Korea's Asia Business Daily, which cited an unidentified intelligence source, the rocket was moved on Monday night towards the country's launch facilities in the western parts. North Korea is marking its foundation day on 9 September and the country is known to make provocative acts on major occasions like these.

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Seoul's defence ministry is yet to corroborate the latest report but earlier assessed the rival Korea could fire another ICBM in the near future. The ministry said on Tuesday that "all available military options" are on the table with regards to North Korea but added that hopes for talks have also not been abandoned.

Meanwhile, the UN Security Council has held an emergency session in New York to discuss the latest measures against the North. While China, a key backer of North Korea so far, has called for dialogue, the US aggressively pushed for more punitive actions on Pyongyang.

"War is never something the United States wants. We don't want it now but our country's patience is not unlimited," Nikki Haley, the American ambassador to the UN, told the 15-member Council adding that Kim Jong-un was "begging for war".

Illustrating the Chinese position, Beijing's envoy Liu Jieyi emphasised: "The peninsula issue must be resolved peacefully. China will never allow chaos and war on the peninsula."

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un waves at a photo session with attendants in the fourth Active Secretaries of Primary Organisation of KPA Youth in this undated photoKCNA via Reuters

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