Korea Launches Scud-class Ballistic Missile

James Marshall
May 29, 2017

February 12: North Korea tests a new midrange ballistic missile, the Pukguksong-2.

South Korea's military says rival North Korea has fired an unidentified projectile off its east coast.

The latest, a short-range Scud, flew about 450km before landing in the Sea of Japan (East Sea) between the Korean Peninsula and Japan, the US Pacific Command said.

"We continue to monitor North Korea's actions closely", the Pacific Command said, adding that it was working on a more detailed assessment of the launch from near the country's Wonsan Airfield.

April 29: South Korean and US officials say a North Korean midrange ballistic missile, presumably a KN-17, failed shortly after launch.

But would the United States try to topple the Kim regime if North Korea could respond with a nuclear attack?

A spokesman for the U.S. National Security Council told CNN that President Trump had been briefed on the launch.

North Korea launched a ballistic missile test Monday, its third such test in just over three weeks.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who had just returned from a G7 meeting in Italy, told reporters: "North Korea's provocation by ignoring repeated warning from the global society is absolutely unacceptable". "Or to verify the credibility of the main engine for [intercontinental ballistic missile's] first-stage rocket", said Kim Dong-yub, a military expert at Kyungnam University's Far Eastern Studies department in Seoul.

What does North Korea want and why?

He added: "Japan absolutely can not tolerate North Korea's repeated provocative actions".

A day later, the head of the US Defence Intelligence Agency said North Korea is on an "inevitable" path to obtaining a nuclear-armed missile capable of striking America if action is not taken. North Korea has a large stockpile of Scud missiles, originally developed by the Soviet Union.

South Korea condemned the test as a "grave threat" and a challenge to the new leader who advocates dialogue with North Korea in a break from his conservative predecessors. North Korea said that projectile was a ground-to-ground strategic ballistic missile Pukguksong-2, state news agency KCNA reported.

"Japan lacks the ballistic missiles, intelligence, targeting and reconnaissance assets, or electronic warfare and air defense suppression capability required to do any effective military response", Schuster said.

People sit in front of the TV screen showing a news program reporting about North Korea's missile firing, at Seoul Train Station in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, May 29, 2017.

One was an intermediate-range missile, two were medium-range, eight were either short-range or medium-range and the range of one is unknown, according to various North Korea watchers.

Mr Trump's comments came at the G7 summit in a meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, which along with South Korea is most immediately threatened by North Korean belligerence.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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