Experts think North Korea could launch missile 'within days,' government sources say


WASHINGTON, Nov 28 (Reuters) - U.S. government experts think North Korea could conduct a new missile test within days, in what would be its first launch since it fired a missile over Japan in mid-September, two authoritative U.S. government sources said on Tuesday.

One of the U.S. sources, who did not want to be identified, said the United States had evidence that Japanese reports about the monitoring of signals suggesting North Korea was preparing a new missile test were accurate.

Both sources said U.S. government experts believed a new test could occur "within days."

SEE ALSO: Report says North Korea’s nuclear target list includes White House

A Japanese government source said earlier on Tuesday that Japan had detected radio signals suggesting North Korea may be preparing another ballistic missile launch, although such signals were not unusual and satellite images did not show fresh activity.

Other U.S. intelligence officials have noted North Korea has previously sent deliberately misleading signs of preparations for missile and nuclear tests, in part to mask real preparations, and in part to test U.S. and allied intelligence on its activities.

After firing missiles at a rate of about two or three a month since April, North Korean missile launches paused in September, after it fired a missile that passed over Japan’s northern Hokkaido island on Sept. 15.

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North Korea celebrates 20th anniversary of Kim Jong Il's appointment
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North Korea celebrates 20th anniversary of Kim Jong Il's appointment
North Koreans celebrate the 20th anniversary of former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's appointment as the General Secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea in Pyongyang October 8, 2017 in this photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on October 9, 2017. KCNA/via REUTERS. ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THIS IMAGE. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. SOUTH KOREA OUT. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Fireworks explode as North Koreans celebrate the 20th anniversary of former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's appointment as the General Secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea in Pyongyang October 8, 2017 in this photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on October 9, 2017. KCNA/via REUTERS. ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THIS IMAGE. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. SOUTH KOREA OUT.
North Koreans celebrate the 20th anniversary of former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's appointment as the General Secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea in Pyongyang October 8, 2017 in this photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on October 9, 2017. KCNA/via REUTERS. ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THIS IMAGE. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. SOUTH KOREA OUT.
In a photo taken on October 8, 2017 participants described as 'working people, youth, and students of Pyongyang' perform during a mass gala event marking the 20th anniversary of late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's election as general secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) on Kim Il-Sung square in central Pyongyang. Meanwhile North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has promoted his sister to a senior ruling party post, state media said, and praised the country's nuclear weapons programme which has sparked international alarm. / AFP PHOTO / KIM Won-Jin (Photo credit should read KIM WON-JIN/AFP/Getty Images)
In a photo taken on October 8, 2017 participants described as 'working people, youth, and students of Pyongyang' perform during a mass gala event marking the 20th anniversary of late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's election as general secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) on Kim Il-Sung square in central Pyongyang. Meanwhile North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has promoted his sister to a senior ruling party post, state media said, and praised the country's nuclear weapons programme which has sparked international alarm. / AFP PHOTO / KIM Won-Jin (Photo credit should read KIM WON-JIN/AFP/Getty Images)
In a photo taken on October 8, 2017 participants described as 'working people, youth, and students of Pyongyang' perform during a mass gala event marking the 20th anniversary of late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's election as general secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) on Kim Il-Sung square in central Pyongyang. Meanwhile North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has promoted his sister to a senior ruling party post, state media said, and praised the country's nuclear weapons programme which has sparked international alarm. / AFP PHOTO / KIM Won-Jin (Photo credit should read KIM WON-JIN/AFP/Getty Images)
In a photo taken on October 8, 2017 participants described as 'working people, youth, and students of Pyongyang' perform during a mass gala event marking the 20th anniversary of late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's election as general secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) on Kim Il-Sung square in central Pyongyang. Meanwhile North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has promoted his sister to a senior ruling party post, state media said, and praised the country's nuclear weapons programme which has sparked international alarm. / AFP PHOTO / KIM Won-Jin (Photo credit should read KIM WON-JIN/AFP/Getty Images)
In a photo taken on October 8, 2017 participants described as 'working people, youth, and students of Pyongyang' perform during a mass gala event marking the 20th anniversary of late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's election as general secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) on Kim Il-Sung square in central Pyongyang. Meanwhile North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has promoted his sister to a senior ruling party post, state media said, and praised the country's nuclear weapons programme which has sparked international alarm. / AFP PHOTO / KIM Won-Jin (Photo credit should read KIM WON-JIN/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - In a photo taken on October 8, 2017 participants described as 'working people, youth, and students of Pyongyang' watch fireworks as they perform during a mass gala event marking the 20th anniversary of late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's election as general secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) on Kim Il-Sung square in central Pyongyang. Meanwhile North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has promoted his sister to a senior ruling party post, state media said, and praised the country's nuclear weapons programme which has sparked international alarm. / AFP PHOTO / KIM Won-Jin (Photo credit should read KIM WON-JIN/AFP/Getty Images)
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(Reporting by Mark Hosenball; Writing by David Brunnstrom; Editing by Susan Thomas)

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