22 May 2017

News Report: Seoul - North Korea Launches Ballistic Missile

SEOUL — South Korea’s military says North Korea has launched “what appears to be” a ballistic missile.

The joint chiefs of staff in Seoul said the missile was fired Sunday afternoon from South Pyeongan province, and flew about 500 kilometers before landing in the sea.

A joint chiefs statement said, "Our military is closely monitoring signs for additional provocation by the North Korean military and we are keeping a full military readiness."

A White House official said ”We are aware that North Korea launched an MRBM. This system, last tested in February, has a shorter range than the missiles launched in North Korea’s three most recent tests.”

The Associated Press reports that South Korean President Moon Jae-in held a National Security Council meeting at the presidential Blue House to discuss the missile launch.

North Korea has conducted a variety of missile tests since the beginning of last year at an unprecedented pace.

A week ago, Pyongyang launched a missile in an unusual high altitude ballistic path that indicated it might be a new two-stage liquid fueled rocket capable of flying up to 4,500 kilometers.

North Korea said then that it had successfully conducted a newly developed mid-to-long range missile test, supervised by leader Kim Jong Un and aimed at verifying the capability to carry a “large scale heavy nuclear warhead.”

The official news agency KCNA quoted Kim as accusing the United States of “browbeating” countries that “have no nukes,” and warning Washington not to misjudge the reality that its mainland is in the North’s “sighting range for strike.”

That test, according to a White House statement, should “serve as a call for all nations to implement far stronger sanctions against North Korea.”

This story first appeared on Voice of America & is reposted here with permission.