North Korea news: Christmas attack fears – with America on alert for missile strike

regularly times missiles launches and tests for symbolic dates both in its own calendar and in the West. 

And Christmas could act as a perfect date for a terrifying launch given despot Kim Jong-un’s hatred for the holiday. 

In the hermit state only Kim and his father and grandfather are allowed to be adulated and so Christmas is detested by the dictatorial regime. 

Doug Bandow, a senior fellow in foreign policy at the Cato Institute, wrote last year: “The DPRK ostentatiously treats anyone of faith, but especially Christians, as hostile.

“Believers place loyalty to God before that of the North Korean state.

“Churches allow people to act and organise outside of state entities. 

“Christianity also has ties to a world seen as almost uniformly threatening by Pyongyang.”

An attack is already feared this month due to historic patterns of launches. 

And experts warn another incident could occur before the year ends. 

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington DC have warned a test is likely to take place soon.

They said December could signal an “elevated chance of provocations”.

The group said since 2012 North Korea has carried out “high missile test activity” in December, increasing fears of another missile strike this year. 

Earlier this year another think tank warned symbolic dates were often used by Pyongyang to send warnings to the West. 

READ MORE: Will North Korea attack the USA?

Ahead of North Korea’s founding anniversary, Harry Kazianis of the Centre for the National Interest think tank: “I think another ICBM test to be honest with you could come on September 9. The North Koreans love to put on a big show for their big national holiday.”

He said North Korea was attracted by the attention an attack on such a symbolic occasion would gain – and a Christmas strike would get the biggest reaction of all. 

Mr Kazianis said: “They’re going to want to get the most attention they can.”