Vigilant South fearful of North Korea missile test

Anti-North Korean protesters hold a placard showing portraits of the North's leader Kim Jong-Un and South Korean president Park Geun-hye. Credit: REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won

South Korea has said the chances of North Korea launching a medium-range missile in a show of strength to the world remains "very high" despite diplomatic efforts.

Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se said his country had asked China and Russia to attempt to persuade the North to soften its hardened stance and abandon any plans for a launch.

Officials in Seoul said surveillance of North Korean activity had been boosted. Missile transporters had been spotted in South Hamgyong province along North Korea's east coast, a rumoured spot for a launch.

"According to intelligence obtained by our side and the US, the possibility of a missile launch by North Korea is very high," Yun told the South Korean parliament.