Sources told the Yomiuri Shimbun North Korean personnel have been moving various components into an established launch site, which indicates they plan to launch some kind of missile in the near future.
The sources said a U.S. spy satellite spotted the activity earlier this month. The movement involves equipment similar to that used in April when North Korea tested a ballistic missile that exploded shortly after launch.
The Pyongyang government had said prior to the April test the missile was putting a satellite in orbit. No such announcement has been made regarding the current activity.
It was not clear if the North Koreans were planning to launch a ballistic missile or something with a shorter range.
The Yomiuri Shimbun said testing an offensive missile would likely throw a wrench into bilateral talks between Japan and North Korea that began Nov. 15. The newspaper said some observers suspect North Korea is attempting to throw its weight around in the region amid elections and leadership changes in Japan, the United States and China.