The South Korean military is on high alert today preparing for North Korea's possible mid-range missile test "anytime soon," while Pyongyang seeks to grab international attention and build an image at home of Kim Jong Un as a formidable leader.
"In the past, North Korea has launched missiles in early morning hours seeking 'a surprise effect.' So both South Korea and the U.S. forces are operating intelligence assets 24 hours," South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-Seok said.
Pyongyang is expected to launch its untested Musudan missile with a range of 1,800 to 2,180 miles from its eastern coast. It could reach as far as the Japanese island of Okinawa, and Guam, where U.S. military forces are located. The missiles could obviously also threaten mainland Japan.
North Korea has launched various kinds of missiles in the past but with advanced notice to clear waters before the test. It has yet to notify neighboring nations but experts believe the launch could come any time in light of recent tensions.