U.S. on high alert for N. Korea's possible missile launch - Philadelphia News, Weather and Sports from WTXF FOX 29

U.S. on high alert for N. Korea's possible missile launch

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WASHINGTON -

This could be the day North Korea is poised to launch a missile as the country marks a national holiday.

There has been a great deal of speculation that a missile launch could come Monday, as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry tries to defuse the ongoing crisis.

In North Korea, a celebration -- the birthday of the country's founder, Kim Il Song, as the world wonders what his grandson, Kim Jong Un is ready to wage nuclear war, as he has threatened.

At the very least, the North does have the ability to launch a conventional attack.  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Japan -- which could be in the flight path of a North Korean missile, calling for a diplomatic resolution -- what appeared to be an offer for direct negotiations.

"The United States remains open to authentic and credible negotiations on de-nuclearization, but the burden is on Pyongyang," said Kerry.

But the end game for Kim Jon Un is unclear.  Is he simply trying to strengthen his hold on power?

The Pentagon has already positioned warships and anti-missile batteries in the region in case of a launch.

In the U.S., White House critics say the Kerry policy is flawed -- that any talk of negotiations or more international aid simply encourages what can amount to North Korean tantrums.

"I don't see that this policy of paying ransom just to get him to tone down rhetoric has been successful.  It's just sort of like a bad movie.  We keep seeing the reruns," said Sen. John Coryn.

And in the meantime, North Korea's holiday is almost over now -- leaving open the possibility that the Kim Jon Un's bluster was just for show.

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