Leader urges more missile launches
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.