Science

North Korea fires suspected cruise missiles

North Korea fires suspected cruise missiles

KCNA added the missiles "accurately detected and hit the floating targets on the East Sea of Korea". Roh Jae-cheon, spokesman of Seoul's JCS, said North Korea with the latest launch would have meant to show off its widening arrange of missiles and also its "precision strike capabilities" on ships in response to the joint drills.

A ballistic missile launched from North Korea would probably take about 10 minutes to fly the 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles) to Japan's southern island of Okinawa, according to the government's civil protection website, leaving little time to evacuate.

Army Col. Roh Jae-Cheon, a spokesman for the South's Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the North's June 8 missile firing seemed aimed at "showing off its capability with various types of missiles and demonstrating its anti-ship precision-strike ability in connection with joint maritime drills involving USA aircraft carrier strike groups".

In what will likely become another source of animosities, Moon's government said it will let two of the four North Korean fishermen recently rescued at sea resettle in the South in accordance with their wishes.

However, North Korea on Sunday slammed the latest United Nations sanctions as "mean" and vowed to press ahead with its missile and nuclear weapons programmes.

The missile launches are the tenth test by North Korea this year, and come in defiance of global pressure and condemnation.

Almost a year ago, leaders in Seoul and Washington agreed that US forces would deploy the THAAD system in South Korea.

One of Mr Moon's election promises was that he would try to talk with his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong Un. He warned that North Korea could only face further worldwide isolation and more economic difficulties.

The North's missile tests present a hard challenge to new South Korean President Moon Jae-in, a liberal elected last month who has expressed a desire to reach out to Pyongyang. The missiles were tested on Thursday.




The three previous tests were of ballistic missiles, with North Korea appearing determined to develop a missile capable of carrying a nuclear weapon and reaching the US mainland.

Cruise missile tests do not contravene United Nations regulations, Korea Defence Network analyst Lee Il Woo told AFP, adding that they were "much slower than ballistic missiles and can be shot down by anti-aircraft guns".

North Korea's latest missile launch was a successful test of a new type of "ground-to-sea cruise rocket", Pyongyang's state media said Friday.

Last month, North Korea premiered a powerful new midrange missile that outside experts said flew higher than any other missile previously tested by North Korea.

This year has marked a rapid uptick in the number of missile tests being carried out by the country, with Thursday's launch marking the 13th test since the beginning of 2017. For the US, South Korean, and Japanese navies, that often means firing an interceptor missile. DPRK stands for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the North's official name.

North Korea waited to test these missiles until two United States aircraft carrier strike groups armed to the teeth with missile defense capabilities left its shores, perhaps to avoid embarrassment should the U.S. knock them down.

"I would not say we are comfortably ahead of the threat". But strategically, it would not be wise for Washington to let North Korea continue testing its weapons either.

The North Korean drones recovered in South Korea were probably procured through front companies in China, with parts manufactured in China, the Czech Republic, Japan and the United States, it added.


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