NKorean missile launch may be testing rivals, not technology

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says his country will join the United States in taking concrete action against North Korea after its latest ballistic missile test.

"Japan absolutely can not tolerate North Korea's repeated provocative actions", he said.

North Korea tested a rocket on 14 May that it said could carry a "large-size heavy nuclear warhead" over long distances.

People watch a television broadcasting a news report on North Korea firing what appeared to be a short-range ballistic missile, at a railway station in Seoul, South Korea, May 29, 2017.

It says the missile was launched from North Korea's eastern coast and believed to be a Scud-class ballistic missile.

The missile reached an altitude of 120 km (75 miles), Roh said.

US authorities tracked the six-minute flight until it crashed into the Sea of Japan, the US Pacific Command said.

"The missile, which was sacked from the eastern coast of North Korea, has fallen in the exclusive economic zone of Japan".

Despite the missile launches, South Korea under Moon has made tentative steps toward engaging the North by restarting stalled civilian aid and exchange programs.

The series of launches has raised the stakes on the Korean Peninsula, though while Pyongyang's neighbors condemn the launches, they also maintain that any coercive action would lead to dire consequences.

Isolated but nuclear-armed, North Korea has test-fired a missile nearly every week for the past three weeks.

A day earlier, North also had a successful test of a new type of anti-aircraft guided weapon system.

However, Mattis refused to elaborate on whether North Korea has crossed a line, saying that the USA government doesn't draw red lines unless it intends to carry them out.

North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile Monday morning that landed in the ocean, the U.S. military said.

This sets up the possibility that North Korea hopes to use the test to show it can hit US targets near and far and emphasize its defiance of USA -led pressure on its missile and nuclear programs, which has included vague threats from President Donald Trump and the arrival in Korean waters of powerful USA military hardware.

"And in the event of war, they would bring danger to China and to Russian Federation as well", he added. The sanctions cut off nearly all exchange between the rival states that had been set up since 2000, when South Korea's "sunshine policy" brought a period of cautious rapprochement.

A week later, it fired another missile, the medium-range Pukguksong-2, which Kim has approved for deployment and mass production, according to the state-controlled news agency KCNA. It wasn't clear from the report when the test happened.

The North Korean leader said the system's hitting accuracy had improved since it was first tested in April 2016 and it would stop hostile nations "boasting of air supremacy and weapon almighty".

  • Zachary Reyes