North Korea 'fires multiple missiles' - days after United Nations sanctions

Ivan Schwartz
June 19, 2017

Pyongyang likely wanted to demonstrate its ability to target American warships by testing different types of missiles, a spokesman for South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

North Korea additionally tested the Pongae-5 surface-to-air missile system successfully in May, with Kim Jong-un declaring that the system had reached initial operating capability.

The head of the USA military's missile defense program, Vice Adm. James Syring said before Congress Wednesday that the technological advances demonstrated by North Korea in its ballistic missile program in the past six months had caused him "great concern". North Korea fired several projectiles believed to. The move was immediately condemned by South Korea's president, who warned North Korea that the only thing the country has to gain from unauthorized launches is "isolation and economic difficulties".

North and South Korea remain in a technical state of war since their 1950-1953 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.

"The only thing North Korea will earn through provocations is global isolation and economic hardship, and it will lose opportunities for development", Mr Moon said at a meeting of the National Security Council yesterday, according to Blue House spokesman Park Soo Hyun.

But he also said that if North Korea is willing to abandon nuclear weapons, the South would take a leading role to help it gain support from the worldwide community.

KCNA said the weapon tested Thursday had been part of the military parade in Pyongyang on April 15 to mark the birthday of the North's founding father Kim Il-Sung.

The KCNA news agency declared today that the rocket was 'capable of striking any enemy group of battleships attempting a military attack on the DPRK'.

It added that the missiles were 'accurately detected and hit the floating targets on the East Sea of Korea'.

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The resolution slapped additional sanctions on North Korea and condemned the regime's continued proliferation of its nuclear and ballistic program.

Thursday's short-range missiles flew some 200 kilometres (124 miles), which is an improvement on a 2015 test, when a surface-to-ship cruise missile flew only 100 kilometres, said Korea Defence Forum analyst Shin Jong-Woo.

A United States defense official confirmed a launch had been detected.

The missile test was North Korea's fourth in the span of a month, and comes after the United Nations Security Council imposed new sanctions on Kim's government last week.

North Korea, which could have a working nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile in the next few years, may also be the most urgent foreign policy concern for the Trump administration, which has been distracted by domestic political turmoil and has insisted China do more to rein in the North's weapons activities.

SEOUL-Two North Koreans have chose to defect to South Korea after being rescued last week from waters off the east coast of the peninsula, South Korea said on Thursday.

The president held his first plenary session of the national security council, and said his government would not make any compromise in defending national security and people's safety.

These demands include the removal of almost 30,000 U.S. troops in South Korea meant to check North Korean aggression. The two other fishermen, who wanted to return home, were repatriated on Friday.

Other reports by GizPress

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