A report on Tuesday in Seoul said North Korea appeared to be preparing a test-launch of an intermediate-range ballistic missile.
It said this was coming after failure of the first attempt of what the U.S. described as the “fiery, catastrophic”.
The report disclosed that on April 15, the North Korea failed to launch what was likely a Musudan missile, with a range of more than 3,000 km (1,800 miles).
It analysed that if launched successfully, it could hit Japan and also theoretically put the U.S. territory of Guam within range.
The report said the Musudan missile, which can be fired from a mobile launcher, is not known to have been successfully flight-tested.
North Korea tested its fourth nuclear bomb on Jan. 6 and launched a long-range rocket on Feb. 7, both in defiance of U.N. resolutions.
The North on Saturday, conducted a test of a submarine-launched ballistic missile.
Meanwhile, a government official said on condition of anonymity that there are indications that the North may fire a Musudan missile that it launched and failed on Kim Il Sung’s birthday on April 15.
He said the April 15 failure was seen as an embarrassing blow for current leader Kim Un, Kim Il Sung’s grandson, who has claimed several advances in weapons technology in recent months.
He said UN is widely expected to conduct a fifth nuclear test soon.
Moon Sang-gyun, South Korean Defence Ministry Spokesman, said the North’s military is determined to spend some time trying to fix the problem following the failed launch.
Experts see North Korea’s Musudan test as part of an effort to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile that can reach the mainland U.S. (Reuters/NAN)