Leader urges more mis­sile launches

The News Herald (Willoughby, OH) - - Nation + World -

SEOUL » North Ko­rean leader Kim Jong Un called for more weapons launches tar­get­ing the Pa­cific Ocean to ad­vance his coun­try’s abil­ity to con­tain Guam, state me­dia said Wed­nes­day, a day af­ter Py­ongyang for the first time flew a bal­lis­tic mis­sile de­signed to carry a nu­clear pay­load over Ja­pan.

Tues­day’s ag­gres­sive mis­sile launch — likely the long­est ever from North Korea — over a close U.S. ally sends a clear mes­sage of de­fi­ance as Wash­ing­ton and Seoul con­duct an­nual mil­i­tary drills. The Ko­rean Cen­tral News Agency said the launch was a “mus­cle-flex­ing” coun­ter­mea­sure to the Ulchi Freedom Guardian joint ex­er­cises that con­clude Thurs­day. Py­ongyang views the drills as in­va­sion re­hearsals and of­ten con­ducts weapons tests and es­ca­lates its rhetoric when they are held.

The KCNA re­port said the mis­sile was an in­ter­me­di­at­erange Hwa­song-12, which the North first suc­cess­fully tested in May and threat­ened to fire into wa­ters near Guam ear­lier this month.

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