South Korea military: North Korea launches ballistic missile

A man watches a TV news program showing image of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, published in the North Korea's Rodong Sinmun newspaper, at Seoul Railway station in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, May 22, 2017. North Korea fired a solid-fuel ballistic missile Sunday that can be harder for outsiders to detect before launch and later said the test was hailed as perfect by leader Kim Jong Un. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea on Tuesday launched yet another ballistic missile in the direction of Japan, South Korean officials said, part of a string of recent test-firings as the North works to build a nuclear-tipped missile that could reach the United States.

The South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that the launch, which came before the U.S. celebration of its national independence, was made from North Phyongan province. Other details were scarce. It wasn’t immediately clear if this was a routine firing of a short-range missile or an attempt to perfect North Korea’s longer-range missiles.

Just last week South Korean President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump focused much of their first meeting on opposing North Korea’s development of atomic weapons that threaten both allies.

Japan’s government said the missile was believed to have landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone in the Sea of Japan but no damage to ships or aircraft in the area has been reported.

China’s U.N. ambassador, Liu Jieyi, warned Monday that further escalation of already high tensions with North Korea risks getting out of control, “and the consequences would be disastrous.”

The Korean Peninsula has been divided between the American-backed South and the authoritarian North since the 1950-53 Korean War. Worries have increased as the North’s leader Kim Jong Un pushes to expand his nuclear arsenal and develop ballistic missiles that can carry nuclear warheads.

Tuesday’s launch is the first by the North since a June 8 test of a new type of cruise missile that Pyongyang says is capable of striking U.S. and South Korean warships “at will.”

Since taking office on May 10, Moon has tried to improve strained ties with North Korea, but the North has continued its missile tests. Pyongyang says it needs nuclear weapons and powerful missiles to cope with what it calls rising U.S. military threats.

WDTN.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s