North Korea announces new missile, which appears to be a Scud variant

by Linda Olson May 31, 2017, 6:36
North Korea announces new missile, which appears to be a Scud variant

North Korea, which has made dozens of rocket tests and two nuclear tests since early 2016, claims that the program is necessary to counteract United States aggression.

"South Korean media are also reporting that the [drill] took place just hours after North Korea conducted its missile launch, and reports have said that South Korean fighter jets have also been involved in the exercise".

Monday's launch was North's Korea's third ballistic missile launch since South Korean President Moon Jae-in was inaugurated on May 10.

He tweeted Monday morning, "North Korea has shown great disrespect for their neighbor, China, by shooting off yet another ballistic missile.but China is trying hard!"

Tokyo will take "specific action" and join forces with the U.S. to deter Pyongyang, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said after a North Korean missile flew about 450km before landing inside Japan's economic zone.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe swiftly condemned the test and vowed concerted action with its USA ally.

Within days the United States proposed to China that the Security Council strengthen sanctions on North Korea over its repeated ballistic missile launches.

U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis, however, warned on a Sunday morning television news program that if a diplomatic solution can not be found for the situation with North Korea "it would be a catastrophic war if this turns into a combat".

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The Missile Defense Agency said in its FY2018 Budget Overview that it would deploy eight additional ground-based interceptors in Alaska by the end of 2017, for a total of 44 overall "to improve protection against North Korean and potential Iranian ICBM threats as they emerge".

U.S. President Donald Trump has alternated in his public statements between bellicosity and flattery.

The Pentagon said the test of its interceptor system is not exclusively about North Korea, and the test is aimed at being able to challenge any threatening intercontinental ballistic missile, including possibly from Iran in the future.

Concerns about North Korean nuclear and missile threats have deepened in the US since North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said in his New Year's Day address that the country is ready to test-fire an intercontinental ballistic missile apparently capable of reaching the U.S.

North Korea has dramatically ramped up the pace of its missile tests over the past year, with a goal of developing an ICBM that can strike the USA mainland.

Kim Jong-Un has sought to ramp up North Korea's nuclear programme under his rule, saying the regime needs atomic weapons to defend itself against the threat of invasion.

He called on Japan to speak and act cautiously on the South China Sea and to play a constructive role as relevant countries in the region are making efforts to solve the issue properly. President Trump has vowed to prevent that from happening and has leaned on China, North Korea's closest ally, to use political and economic leverage to persuade Kim to halt his weapons program. "We insist on a political resolution through peaceful means".


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