North Korea has placed two of its intermediate range missiles on mobile launchers and hidden them on the east coast of the country in a move that could threaten Japan or U.S. Pacific bases, South Korean media reported on Friday.
The report could not be confirmed. But any such movement may be intended to demonstrate that the North, angry about joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises and the imposition of U.N. sanctions, is prepared to demonstrate its ability to mount an attack.
The North has said nuclear conflict could break out at any time on the Korean peninsula in a month-long war of words that has prompted the United States to move military assets into the region.
The tension with North Korea has roiled South Korean financial markets and top finance officials in Seoul warned they could have a long-term impact on markets.