South Korea says its ties with North Korea could be harmed if the regime goes
through with a test-launching of a long-range ballistic missile.
Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan told reporters in Seoul Thursday that any such act will seriously threaten stability along the Korean peninsula and northeast Asia.
Yu also says the North could face further isolation and sanctions from the international community if it launches the missile, which is said to be capable of reaching the western United States.
Concerns about a possible missile test by North Korea have increased in recent weeks, since Pyongyang scrapped all political and military agreements with South Korea, including a deal over their border in the Yellow Sea.
Tensions between North and South Korea have worsened since conservative President Lee Myung-bak took office last year, pledging a tougher stance against Pyongyang. He demanded the North dismantle its nuclear program in exchange for economic and humanitarian aid.
Some analysts believe the North's statements and actions are aimed at getting the attention of new U.S. President Barack Obama.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will visit East Asia on her first official trip beginning Sunday, with stops in Japan, Indonesia, South Korea, and China.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.