South Korea military: North Korea fires off apparent ballistic missile

Claudine Rigal
Mai 29, 2017

U.S. military monitors said the short-range missile flew for six minutes, while Japan said it fell into its exclusive economic zone, extending 200 nautical miles from the coast. The six were being questioned by a South Korean team, and would be asked if they wished to be repatriated to the North, Unification Ministry spokesman Lee Duk-haeng told a briefing. Pacific Command said, until it landed in the Sea of Japan.

It landed in western waters that are Japan's exclusive maritime economic zone, Japanese chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga said.

The news of North Korea's missile firing is broadcast at Seoul Train Station in South Korea on Monday.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed to take "concrete action" with the USA after North Korea's latest missile launch, which landed in the Sea of Japan.

North Korea apparently is determined to develop a missile capable of carrying a nuclear weapon and able to reach the US mainland. South Korea's military said the Scud-type missile travelled for 450 km (280 miles). But it also comes in defiance of a fresh declaration published by the G7 leaders just this past weekend in which all seven member states pledged to strengthen their measures against North Korea unless it agrees to abandon its nuclear and missile programs.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in was briefed and ordered a national security council meeting for 7:30 a.m. Monday, the South Korean statement said.

The ultimate objective of North Korea's nuclear and missile program is to secure the capability to hit the United States with a nuclear-equipped missile, which will ensure the regime's survival and give it greater negotiating power.

The South African rand, meanwhile, rose to a two-month high of 12.6300 per USA dollar, after South African President Jacob Zuma defeated a no-confidence motion against him at a meeting of top officials of the ruling African National Congress on Sunday.

Pyongyang fired what appeared to be a short-range ballistic missile early on Monday. He said China, the North's only major ally, has been increasingly using its influence over North Korea.

State media said it verified the missile's reliability and accuracy of the cold launch system from a caterpillar-style tracked transporter erector launcher, the high thrust solid fuel engines and the guidance and stabilization features of the nuclear warhead recorded by a built-in device. Outside analysts believe North Korea may be able to arm some of its shorter-range missiles with nuclear warheads, though the exact state of its secretive weapons program is unknown.

US officials confirmed the missile launch.

Suga, the Japanese cabinet secretary, said, "We can not tolerate such repeated actions from North Korea, and we have lodged a strong protest against North Korea, criticizing them in the strongest form". He said there was no immediate report of damage to planes or vessels in the area.

"Kim Jong Un. watched the test of a new type of anti-aircraft guided weapon system organised by the Academy of National Defence Science", KCNA said on Sunday. However, experts say it may be trying to test new capabilities that may be fed into its efforts to build an ICBM.

North Korea has fired 12 missiles during nine tests in 2017. Scuds are capable of striking US troops in South Korea, for instance, and the two newly developed missiles tested earlier this month have potential ranges that include Japan, Guam and even, according to some South Korean analysts, Alaska.

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