A senior US official has warned North Korea's upcoming missile launch would be aimed south for the first time and impact in an area "roughly between Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines".
Kurt Campbell, the assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, delivered the message in person to Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr.
Campbell was quoted as saying, Quote: "If the missile test proceeds as North Korea has indicated, our judgement is that it will impact in an area roughly between Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines. Unquote.
The nuclear-armed North has announced it will launch a rocket in mid-April to put a satellite into orbit, a move the United States, Australia and other nations see as a pretext for a long-range missile test banned by the UN.