Gates: N. Korea prepping another missile

Say what you want about North Korea (and there is plenty you could say), but they definitely know how to dominate a news cycle.

Coming on the heels of its recent short-range missile launches and nuclear test, there is evidence that North Korea has started to construct another long-range missile, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Monday.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Gates said it is unclear whether North Korea plans to file the new missile any time soon.

"We have seen some signs that they may be doing something with another Taepodong-2 missile, but at this point it's not clear what they're doing," Gates said, according to the WSJ.

This, of course, is a week after Pyongyang fired short-range missiles and conducted an underground nuclear test. The ramp up of missile and nuclear activity is seen by some observers as indicative that Kim Jong-Il will soon pick a successor.

Its missile program isn't the only reason North Korea is in the news on Monday. North Korea's highest court this week will begin trying two America journalists that were captured on the border between North Korea and China in March. The journalists, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, are the first Americans to be tried in North Korea.

jeremy.jacobs@thehill.com