North Korea Has Successful 'Ground-to-sea Cruise Rocket' Launch

19 June, 2017, 00:54 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un observed the launches, according to the official Korean Central News Agency, which said the missiles "accurately detected and hit" floating targets at sea after making "circular flights".

North Korea said Friday it has tested a new type of cruise missile that could strike US and South Korean warships "at will" if it is attacked, in an apparent reference to the projectiles detected by Seoul when they were launched a day earlier.

A South Korean civic group said Friday its plan to hold a joint event in Pyongyang in celebration of a historic inter-Korean peace declaration has virtually fallen apart, with North Korea being aloof and Seoul remaining cautious.

South Korean military spokesman Roh Jae-cheon said the launch was meant to show off Pyongyang's widening array of missiles and its "precision strike capabilities" on ships in response to the joint drills.

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 Korean state media made no mention of the reported launches Thursday, but earlier warned Japan not to "gamble on its destiny".

KCNA said the test also touted the combat abilities of a new and apparently homemade transporter erector launcher.

North Korea unveiled a number of new weapons at a massive military parade on April 15 to mark the anniversary of the birth of the state's founding leader, and has since tested some of them.

It marked the fifth missile test-fire by the North since liberal South Korean President Moon Jae-in took office May 10.

"Our military has strengthened surveillance and alertness readiness in cases of additional provocation by North Korean military and is maintaining all readiness posture while we are tracking and monitoring related situation", the statement read.


On Tuesday, Sputnik reported the withdrawal of United States aircraft carriers from the Sea of Japan - in North Korea's front yard.

According to Pyongyang, the launch was a test of this new ship-killing missile.

The launch comes one day after Moon's government suspended the deployment of a controversial USA missile defense system which had strained relations with China and angered North Korea.

"If Japan is concerned about its security, it should not act (as) a poodle of the US but withdraw its hostile policy toward the DPRK and remove the USA military bases for aggression from its territory", a spokesman for the North's National Peace Committee of Korea was quoted by KCNA as saying Wednesday.

Experts said that rocket flew higher and for a longer time than any other missile previously tested by North Korea, and that it could one day reach targets as far away as Hawaii and Alaska.

The missiles flew about 200 kilometers (124 miles), South Korea's military said in a statement, adding the United States military was undertaking a more detailed analysis.

A screen shows a news program reporting about North Korea's missile firing from Wonsan, center, Thursday, June 8, 2017, in Tokyo.

"The government will unwaveringly make efforts for complete denuclearization of North Korea's nuclear weapons through both sanctions and dialogue".

Rand Corporation defense analyst Bruce Bennett told VOA that the missiles in Thursday's test were probably too small to be able to carry a nuclear warhead.

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