US mil­i­tary de­tects failed N Korean mis­sile launch

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

The US mil­i­tary said Satur­day it had de­tected an un­suc­cess­ful launch by North Korea of a pow­er­ful medium-range mis­sile ca­pa­ble of hit­ting US bases as far away as Guam. UN res­o­lu­tions pro­hibit North Korea from us­ing ballistic mis­sile tech­nol­ogy, and this lat­est test came as the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil is de­bat­ing fresh sanc­tions on Py­ongyang fol­low­ing its fifth nu­clear test in Septem­ber.

The US Strate­gic Com­mand (USSTRATCOM) said the launch, de­tected just after mid­day Satur­day Korea time, was be­lieved to be of a much-hyped Musu­dan mis­sile which North Korea has now test-fired seven times-with one par­tial suc­cess. Pen­tagon spokesman Gary Ross con­demned what he called a clear vi­o­la­tion of UN res­o­lu­tions and urged Py­ongyang to re­frain from any fur­ther ac­tions that might raise al­ready el­e­vated ten­sions on the Korean penin­sula.

Seoul’s de­fense min­istry also con­firmed the failed launch, held near an air base in the north­west­ern city of Ku­song in North Korea at 1203 Py­ongyang time (0333 GMT). “This provo­ca­tion only serves to in­crease the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity’s re­solve to counter (North Korea’s) pro­hib­ited ac­tiv­i­ties,” said Pen­tagon spokesman Gary Ross. “We re­main pre­pared to de­fend our­selves and our al­lies from any at­tack or provo­ca­tion,” Ross added.

Pa­cific threat

Such launches are usu­ally re­ported within hours or even min­utes by the South Korean and US mil­i­taries, but Seoul’s de­fense min­istry re­fused to say why the an­nounce­ment came so long after the event. First un­veiled as an indige­nous mis­sile at a mil­i­tary pa­rade in Py­ongyang in Oc­to­ber 2010, the Musu­dan has a the­o­ret­i­cal range of any­where be­tween 2,500 and 4,000 kilo­me­ters. — AFP


The US Navy’s USS Ron­ald Rea­gan air­craft car­rier (CVN-76) ar­rives at the south­east­ern port city of Bu­san on Oc­to­ber 16, 2016 after fin­ish­ing a joint naval ex­er­cise with South Korean forces.

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