North Korea (the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) has launched two powerful mid-range ballistic missiles, according to U.S. and South Korean officials, early on Wednesday.
The suspected Musudan missiles were launched within hours of each other. They bring the number of missiles test fired since April to six.
U.S. Strategic Command in Hawaii tracked two missiles before they fell into the Sea of Japan, with one flying about 400km and reaching an altitude of 1,000km.
NBC News reports:
A Musudan has a range of 1,200 to 2,400 miles and is theoretically capable of reaching bases on the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam.
The missiles launches didn’t pose a threat to North America, U.S. Strategic Command added in a statement.
A statement from South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the suspected first Musudan launch from the east coast city of Wonsan failed Wednesday.
Japan’s defense ministry said the first missile’s range showed North Korea has been made advances in developing the missiles.
“The threat to Japan is intensifying,” Defense Minister Gen Nakatani told reporters in Tokyo.
It was not immediately clear if the second launch was a success or a failure — like most of the recent Musudan tests.
The launches have been conducted in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions that prohibit Pyongyang from using ballistic missile technology.
State Department spokesman John Kirby said the U.S. strongly condemned Wednesday’s launch and other recent missile tests, which he called “provocative.”
“We intend to raise our concerns at the UN,” he said. “We call on North Korea to refrain from actions that further raise tensions in the region and focus instead on taking concrete steps toward fulfilling its commitments and international obligations.”
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