North Korea Moves Mid-Range Missile to Launch Site

North Korea has moved a mid-range ballistic missile to a launch site on its eastern coast, according to press reports on Thursday. South Korean defense officials believe that the missile is being prepared for launch, reported the Yonhap news agency. They said the missile has “intermediate range,” but is not capable of reaching the continental United States, according to Yonhap. KGS NightWatch’s John McCreary, a retired long-time Pentagon intelligence analyst, told the Daily Report on April 4 that all signs point to a launch in the near future. The missile, dubbed the “Musudan,” is a variant of the Soviet SS-N-6 submarine-launched ballistic missile and has a 4,000 km range—enough to hit Guam, said McCreary. When US intelligence has detected a North Korean missile on a launch site, going back to 1976, the North Koreans have a track record of always trying to launch it, he said. “The Musudan is based on a superb missile with arguably the best liquid-fueled engine ever designed,” said McCreary. “However, it cannot stay fueled for more than a few days safely. The fuel is too corrosive.” North Korea has never test launched a Musudan; it is not known whether the North Koreans have nuclear warheads that can fit on the missile. News of the Musudan came one day after the Pentagon announced that it is deploying a THAAD anti-missile battery to Guam.