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No unusual N.K. activities detected on day marking 2017 ICBM launch

SEOUL, Nov. 29 (Yonhap) — South Korea has detected no unusual North Korean military activities Monday, Seoul officials said, amid speculation Pyongyang could mark its 2017 launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) with a celebratory event or show of force.

This year, the North’s calendars began to mark Nov. 29 as an anniversary for its rocket development. On the day in 2017, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un declared the completion of his country’s nuclear forces after firing the new ICBM, the Hwasong-15.

“As of now, there are no unusual (North Korean) activities to additionally mention,” Col. Kim Jun-rak, the spokesperson of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a regular press briefing.

Lee Jong-joo, spokesperson for Seoul’s unification ministry, echoed the view.

“There isn’t anything that we can specifically comment on regarding any unusual activities of the North Korean military, including possible preparations for a missile launch,” Lee told a press briefing.

Lee also said South Korea has yet to confirm any North Korean activities officially celebrating the newly designated anniversary.

The 2017 ICBM launch marked a culmination of Pyongyang’s decadeslong pursuit of long-range nuclear delivery capabilities, though questions persist over whether it has mastered the technology that will allow warheads to withstand extremely high temperatures during reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere.

In this 2018 file photo released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Hwasong-15 missiles on mobile launchers are displayed during a military parade at Kim Il-sung Square in Pyongyang. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

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