According to the daily Chosun Ilbo, the missile, developed last year, could feature in the parade planned to mark the 55th anniversary of the founding of the communist country.

"This missile is expected to be showcased at a parade for the first time at North Korea's 55th anniversary," reported the daily.

It was not clear though whether the missile was part of the North's declared effort to enchance its nuclear deterrent.

The daily further reported that the missile, which has a range of 3,000-4,000 kms had a longer range than the Taepodong-1 missile North Korea had fired over Japan in 1998.

New Missiles

Defence analysts said there was no evidence yet that North Korea has test-fired any new missile or was about to do so. But they said the North has been developing a Taepodong-2 missile with a range long enough to reach the United States.

North Korea's nuclear programme has been a subject of global consternation in the recent past. Last month, it held multi-lateral talks with China, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the US on the issue.

At those talks, the Pyongyang delegation threatened to test a nuclear bomb and test-fire a missile if the US did not change its stance towards the North.