North Korea Fires Off Short-Range Ballistic Missile


North Korea fired off another ballistic missile early Monday morning, according to reports from the South Korean military.

North Korea fired the weapon from a launch site near Wonsan, a city on the coast in Gangwon Province, reports Yonhap News Agency, citing South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff. The North Korean missile flew east and landed in the East Sea/Sea of Japan. The weapon reportedly covered a distance of roughly 280 miles.

U.S. Pacific Command assessed that the weapon fired was a short-range ballistic missile. The South Korean military believes the missile to be a type of Scud. The U.S. and South Korean militaries are working on a more detailed assessment.

Monday’s test marks North Korea’s twelfth ballistic missile launch this year and its ninth ballistic missile test, which appears to have been successful.

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North Korea has been very active in recent months, advancing its missile program at an accelerated pace. Their military has tested the new Hwasong-12 medium long-range ballistic missile two weeks ago, which could be a stage or a technological predecessor for a liquid-fueled ICBM. The North also tested a KN-15 (Pukguksong-2) solid-fueled mid-range ballistic missile, a possible predecessor to a solid-fueled ICBM, last week. North Korea announced Sunday that it has tested a new surface-to-air missile to shoot down enemy aircraft.

The Hwasong-12 test was one of North Korea’s most successful tests to date, and Kim Jong Un has ordered the KN-15 and the new SAM to be mass produced and deployed across the country.

North Korea is pursuing an ICBM to hold U.S. cities hostage as it already holds cities in the Asia Pacific region, but it has yet to test this kind of technology.

“The United States government is aware,” a White House National Security Council spokesman told reporters, “The president has been briefed.”

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