South Korea on Monday warned against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)'s possible launch of a long-range missile, saying it would cause stronger sanctions and pressure from the international society.
Seoul's unification ministry spokesman Jeong Joon-hee told a regular press briefing that if an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) is launched by the DPRK, it would bring about pressure and sanctions of South Korea and the international community.
Jeong said the DPRK's provocation threat is an act of threatening peace and stability of the international society, urging Pyongyang to return to the denuclearization path that would benefit the DPRK itself.
He added that there has been no specific sign detected yet of the DPRK's possible missile test-launches.
South Korea's military said it is closely watching whether the DPRK would test-launch its long-range missile.
Defense Ministry spokesman Moon Sang-kyun told a routine press briefing that the country's military is closely trailing and monitoring the DPRK's possible launch of its ICBM such as KN-08 or its enhanced version KN-14.
Regarding the launch timing, the spokesman said the DPRK may use a variety of events to celebrate anniversaries scheduled for this year, without elaborating on details.
The comments came after top DPRK leader Kim Jong Un said in his new year's speech that Pyongyang entered a final stage in preparations to test-launch a long-range ballistic rocket.
Referring to the KN-14 missile, the spokesman said the DPRK advanced its technology to launch the ICBM from a mobile launcher.
Moon expressed regrets over the DPRK leader's remarks violating the UN Security Council resolutions, which prohibit the country from testing any ballistic missile technology. He said threats of the ICBM launch is an act to damage peace and stability of the international community.
The spokesman warned that if Pyongyang test-launches any ICBM in defiance of South Korea's warning, the DPRK would face tougher pressure and sanctions, vowing to sternly retaliate against any DPRK provocation.