BBC News reports North Korea appears to be preparing to launch a long-range missile, according to South Korea's defense ministry and Japanese media. Activity has been spotted at a launch station on the west coast of the isolated nation. Earlier this week Pyongyang announced it was planning to launch a satellite at some point in February. The announcement was internationally condemned - critics say it is a cover to test banned missile technology. North Korea also conducted its fourth nuclear bomb test on January 6th. UN sanctions against North Korea prohibit it from carrying out any nuclear or ballistic missile tests.