SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea has removed all long-range missile equipment from a launch site, significantly lowering the possibility of a new test launch, the chief of South Korea's main spy agency said Monday, according to Yonhap news agency.
Intelligence reports have said North Korea may have moved two long-range Taepodong-2 missiles, believed potentially capable of reaching the United States, to its Musudan-ri launch site on its east coast before test-firing one of them July 5.
South Korean officials have said fresh intelligence showed that the remaining missile may have been moved somewhere else.
On Monday, Kim Seung-kyu, head of the National Intelligence Service, said the North "withdrew all equipment related to Taepodong-2" from the site in mid-July, ending "missile activity in the region," according to Yonhap.
The report gave no more details and comments from the intelligence agency were not immediately available.
Along with the Taepodong-2, North Korea also test-launched six shorter-range missiles, drawing strong international condemnation. The U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution to denounce the launches and ban countries from missile-related dealings with the North.
North Korea has said it has the right to test missiles and vowed further tests.
The missile launches prompted fresh calls for resuming six-nation talks on the country's nuclear program in hopes of persuading Pyongyang to disarm in exchange for aid and security assurances.
North Korea says it won't return to the talks, stalled since November, as long as Washington keeps financial restrictions imposed for the North's illicit financial activities. It has demanded direct talks with the U.S. over the issue, but Washington has rebuffed those calls.