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Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi said on Wednesday that he is unable to confirm reports that North Korea is preparing to launch another ballistic missile by the end of this year.

“We have to obtain more information,” Obuchi told reporters at his official residence.

In a separate press briefing, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiromu Nonaka said he heard about “some movements” regarding North Korean preparations to launch a Taepodong missile. However, he said the government has not yet obtained concrete information.

North Korea launched a rocket over Japan into the Pacific on Aug. 31. Tokyo maintains it was a multistage ballistic missile, while Pyongyang insists it was an attempt to launch a satellite into orbit.

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