Reuters International

A new type of anti-air guided weapon system is fired in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on April 2, 2016. REUTERS/KCNA

(reuters_tickers)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is aware of reports that North Korea is preparing intermediate-range missiles and is closely monitoring the Korean Peninsula, the U.S. State Department said on Thursday.

"We call again on North Korea to refrain from actions that further raise tensions in the region and focus instead on taking concrete steps towards fulfilling its international commitments and obligations," a State Department representative said.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported that North Korea has deployed one or two intermediate-range ballistic missiles on the east coast, possibly preparing for launch on or around Friday.

(Reporting by Eric Beech; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

reuters_tickers

 Reuters International