US mil­i­tary de­tects failed N Korean mis­sile launch

The Myanmar Times - - World -

THE US mil­i­tary said 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 on Oc­to­ber 15, was be­lieved to be of a much­hyped Musu­dan mis­sile which North Korea has now test-fired seven times, with one par­tial suc­cess.

Pen­tagon spokesper­son 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.

Seoul’s de­fence min­istry also con­firmed the failed launch, held near an air base in the north­west­ern city of Ku­song in North Korea.

First un­veiled as an indige­nous mis­sile at a mil­i­tary pa­rade in Py­ongyang in Oc­to­ber 2010, the Musu­dan has a the­o­ret­i­cal range of any­where be­tween 2500 and 4000 kilo­me­tres (1550-2485 miles).

The lower es­ti­mate cov­ers the whole of South Korea and Ja­pan, while the up­per range would in­clude US mil­i­tary bases on Guam.

After five failed launches, North Korea test fired a Musu­dan in June 400km into the Sea of Ja­pan (East Sea).

US weapons an­a­lysts say suc­cess­ful Musu­dan test­ing could help the nu­clear-armed North de­velop an op­er­a­tional in­tercon­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­sile (ICBM) ca­pa­ble of strik­ing the US main­land by 2020.

The North has pub­licly dis­played an ICBM, called the KN-08, which uses the same tech­nol­ogy as the Musu­dan but has never been test-fired.

The North Korean state me­dia made no men­tion of the at­tempted launch, but the of­fi­cial KCNA news agency car­ried a for­eign min­istry state­ment warn­ing that the United States would “pay a high price” for re­cent hos­tile be­hav­iour that had “hurt the dig­nity of the supreme lead­er­ship”.

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