North Korean launch
U.S. intelligence, military and diplomatic officials said U.S. spy satellites, ships and ground stations are focused intently on North Korea’s missile-launch facility and think a long-range Taepodong-2 missile launch is not imminent.
The Pentagon is set to activate its limited missile-defense system once there are signs the missile is fully fueled, perhaps by holding an exercise that would shift the system from test mode to fully active mode, said officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information.
Meanwhile, diplomats are working behind the scenes to try to persuade North Korea’s government not to carry out the launch, which would trigger additional United Nations sanctions.
“We hope they don’t launch,” said one official familiar with the issue.