N. Korea fires 4 banned bal­lis­tic mis­siles into sea

New Straits Times - - News -

North Korea on Mon­day fired four banned bal­lis­tic mis­siles that flew about 1,000km, with three of them land­ing in wa­ters that Ja­pan claims as its ex­clu­sive eco­nomic zone, South Korean and Ja­panese of­fi­cials said, in an ap­par­ent re­ac­tion to huge military drills by Wash­ing­ton and Seoul that Py­ongyang in­sists are an in­va­sion re­hearsal.

It was not im­me­di­ately clear the ex­act type of mis­sile fired, but the tests will be viewed as a provo­ca­tion by the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion, which is work­ing on its pol­icy for North Korea.The New York Times re­ported over the week­end that the United States still couldn’t ef­fec­tively counter Py­ongyang's ac­tions de­spite ef­forts to per­fect cy­ber and elec­tronic strikes against North Korea’s mis­sile pro­gramme.

Py­ongyang had test-launched a se­ries of mis­siles of var­i­ous ranges in re­cent months, in­clud­ing a new in­ter­me­di­ate-range mis­sile last month; it also con­ducted two nu­clear tests last year. The ramped-up tests come as leader Kim Jong-un pushed for a nu­clear and mis­sile pro­gramme that can de­ter what he calls US and South Korean hos­til­ity to­ward the North.

There has been wide­spread wor­ries that the North will con­duct an ICBM test that, when per­fected, could in the­ory reach the US main­land.

US na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser H.R. Mc­Mas­ter and se­nior South Korean pres­i­den­tial of­fi­cial Kim Kwan-jin talked by phone af­ter the mis­sile fir­ings.

The two con­demned the launches and agreed to boost co­op­er­a­tion to get the North to face more ef­fec­tive sanc­tions and pres­sure, ac­cord­ing to South Korea’s pres­i­den­tial of­fice.

Ja­panese of­fi­cials said three mis­siles landed in the 200-nau­ti­cal-mile off­shore area, where Tokyo had sov­er­eign rights for ex­plor­ing and ex­ploit­ing re­sources.

EPA PIC

A South Korean watch­ing news broad­casts re­port­ing on North Korea test-fir­ing bal­lis­tic mis­siles, in Seoul yes­ter­day.

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