The missile, believed to be a Taepodong-2 with a range of up to 4,000 miles, would be launched in early July from the Dongchang-ni site on the north-western coast of the secretive country.
It is understood the communist state is likely to fire the missile between July 4 and 8. A launch on July 4 would coincide with Independence Day in the States.It would also be the 15th anniversary of North Korean president Kim Il-Sung's death.
Officials had initially believed that North Korea might attempt to launch a similar device towards either Japan's Okinawa island, Guam or Hawaii.
But the ministry concluded launches toward Okinawa or Guam were 'extremely unlikely' because the first-stage booster could drop into waters off China, agitating Beijing, or hit western Japanese territory.
The article goes on to explain that U.S. intelligence officials are not sure if a Taepodong rocket could reach the Hawaiian mainland, but, you know, better to prepare for it just in case.
To that end the AP is reporting tonight that Defense Secretary Robert Gates has ordered additional missile protection for Hawaii in the event that North Korea does launch an attack there. U.S. intelligence is also tracking a North Korean ship that they believe is carrying weapons.
What the heck is Kim Jong Il thinking here? If he attacks the U.S., who the hell will he sell generic Viagra and awful t-shirts to? And oh yeah, there's also the possibility that his nation will get blown off the face of the planet! Not exactly a minor detail to consider.