Rockets fired again by North Korea
NORTH Korea has fired several rockets into the sea, in a continuation of its rapid nuclear and missile expansion, prompting South Korea to press ahead with the military drills involving US troops that have angered Pyongyang.
The US Pacific Command revised its initial assessment that the first and third short-range missiles failed yesterday during flight, to say they flew about 155 miles.
It said that the second missile appears to have blown up immediately and that none posed a threat to the US territory of Guam, towards which the North has previously warned it would fire missiles.
South Korea’s presidential office and military said North Korea fired “several” projectiles in what was presumed to be a test of its 300-millimetre rocket system.
Kim Dong-yub, a former South Korean military official who is now an analyst at Seoul’s Institute for Far Eastern Studies, said North Korea’s large artillery rockets blur the boundaries between artillery systems and ballistic missiles because they create their own thrust and are guided.
The presidential office in Seoul said the US and South Korean militaries will proceed with their war games “even more thoroughly” in response to the launch.
They are the first known missile firings since July, when the North successfully flight-tested a pair of intercontinental ballistic missiles that analysts say could reach deep into the US mainland when perfected.
The White House said “We are monitoring the situation”.
Saturday’s launch comes during an annual joint military exercise between the United States and South Korea that the North condemns as an invasion rehearsal.