Rock­ets fired again by North Korea

Wales On Sunday - - NEWS -

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.

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