Friday, 23 June, 2017

North Korea says it has tested new anti-ship missile

Andrew Cummings | 19 June, 2017, 00:50

"This new-type cruise rocket is a powerful attack means capable of striking any enemy group of battleships", said North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency.

The latest missile test by North Korea was of "a new-type ground-to-sea cruise rocket", the nuclear-armed country's state media said Friday.

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.

North Korea's weapons tests intend to build a nuclear and missile program that can resist what it sees as hostility from the U.S.and South Korea.

The same year, South Korea said that it had found three alleged North Korean drones in border towns.

The June 15 South Korean Committee, which has been pushing for the plan, said it did not receive a response from its North Korean counterpart.

USA Today reported that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un observed the launches, according to KCNA, which said the missiles "accurately detected and hit" floating targets at sea after making "circular flights".

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(Yonhap via AP). South Korean President Moon Jae-in speaks as he presides over a meeting of the National Security Council at the presidential Blue House in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, June 8, 2017.

The missiles flew about 200 kilometers (124 miles), South Korea's military said in a statement, adding the U.S. military was undertaking a more detailed analysis. The missiles were tested on Thursday.

Thursday's launches came after two US aircraft carriers deployed to waters off the Korean Peninsula as a show of force, recently left the Sea of Japan after holding joint exercises with Self-Defense Forces ships and fighter jets.

The North's ramped-up pace of nuclear and missile tests have also stoked concern in Tokyo, prompting Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to characterize Pyongyang's weapons push as "a new level of threat". Might is something that even a power-mad tyrant such as Kim Jong-un can understand. The improved range indicates the North is pursuing weapons capable of reaching USA aircraft carriers that operate from deeper positions, he said. In fact, the MDA, in cooperation with the U.S. Air Force 30th Space Wing, conducted a successful test of the GMD system on May 30, when a ground-based interceptor launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California intercepted an ICBM-class target launched from the Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

The claim indicates the regime has continued to advance its missile technology since its leader Kim Jong-un said during his annual address on January 1 that the regime was in the final stage of developing ICBM technology.

North Korea's military just completed testing on what it claims is a precision-guided munition (PGM).

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