Reports from U.S. officials are confirming (here, here and here) that North Korea has positioned a Taepodong-2 missile on the launch pad at it’s missile base in Musudan. Ostensibly they are preparing to launch a communications satellite, you know because they have so many friends they want to communicate with.
Japan has said it will shoot it down via its Patriot anti-missile systems if it threatens to hit the country. North Korea has announced it will interpret any attempt to shoot it’s missile down as an act of war.
Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair testified before Congress that a successful test of a three-stage rocket would demonstrate North Korea’s ability to reach the continental United States with a ballistic missile.
As for US intercept plans, the Navy left two Aegis missile defense ships behind from the armada sent to the Sea of Japan for war games.