Last week, the North told foreign diplomats in Pyongyang they had until April 10 to consider evacuation.
The commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific region, Admiral Samuel Locklear, said the U.S. military believed North Korea had moved an unspecified number of Musudan missiles to its east coast, and the South Korea-US Combined Forces Command raised its Watchcon status from three to two to reflect indications of a "vital threat".
South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-Se told parliament the launch could take place "anytime".
Separately, UN chief Ban Ki-moon warned the Korean peninsula may be slipping out of control, urging the North to tone down its "provocative" rhetoric and to keep open the Kaesong industrial zone, a joint North-South Korean industrial complex.
"If any small incident is caused by miscalculation or misjudgement, it may create an uncontrollable situation," Mr Ban said.
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