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Published: Mon, February 13, 2017
Science | By Guadalupe Butler

Groundhog Day: N. Korea launches more ballistic missiles

Groundhog Day: N. Korea launches more ballistic missiles

North Korea on Sunday fired a medium-range ballistic missile into the East Sea in an apparent provocation to boast its military readiness and test the response from the new Donald Trump administration, the South Korean military said.

The command said the launch occurred near the northwestern city of Kusong. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, provided no further details on what type of missile it might have been.

North Korea on Sunday launched a missile in the direction of Japan, South Korean and Pentagon officials have said.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is condemning North Korea's latest missile launch as "absolutely intolerable" and President Donald Trump is assuring Japan that the US stands behind it "100 percent".

They were having a working dinner at Trump's vacation home in Palm Beach, Florida, where the leaders played golf together following Friday's summit.

Today's missile launch is aimed at drawing global attention to the North by boasting its nuclear and missile capabilities, the statement added.

There was no immediate confirmation from the North, which recently warned it was ready to test its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

According to South Korean military, it was either a Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missile that can strike targets at the distance of 2,500-4,000 kilometers or a shorter-range Rodong missile. The missile was tracked over North Korea and into the Sea of Japan, the release said.

A Musudan missile has a potential range of between 2,500 and 4,000 kilometres, which would cover not only any target in Japan and South Korea, but could also reach United States military bases on the Pacific island of Guam. They, however, said it was not an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which is reportedly capable of reaching the USA mainland.

South Korea's military is analyzing exactly what type of missile it was but there's a strong possibility that it was a midrange Musudan type, according to officials.

Under the United Nations resolution, Pyongyang is banned from testing any ballistic missile technology.

In Washington, public affairs officers for the Defence Department and the State Department had no immediate comment on the report.

Yoshihide Suga, Japan's chief cabinet secretary, condemned the launch as a "highly problematic act". "We are assessing and will have more informationsoon".

Four of North Korea's five nuclear tests took place during the Obama administration.

North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile early Sunday morning.

The Sept. 9 nuclear test was estimated at an explosive yield of 10 kilotons, compared with an estimated 6 kiloton yield in a test in January of 2016. We strongly condemn this and other North Korea's missile test in violation of UN Security Council Resolutions, which explicitly prohibit North Korea's use of ballistic missile technology, said CDR Dave Benham, a spokesperson for U.S. Pacific Command in Honolulu, reported USA Today.

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