North Korea fired an unidentified rocket Thursday, days after leader Kim Jong Un oversaw the firing of several test rockets, according to South Korean military officials.
The missile reportedly flew 420 kilometers to the east after launching in the Northern Pyongan province, which is located in the western side of the country, NBC News reported. Experts warned that the recent missiles may have been of Russian design.
“We confirm that North Korea has fired an unidentified projectile off towards eastern direction from Sinori area located in Northern Pyongan Province at around 03:30 a.m. ET/16:30 p.m. (local time),” a South Korean military official told NBC News.
North Korean state media claimed the launch was to “check the operating ability of large-caliber long-range multiple rocket launchers and tactical guided weapons,” according to CNN.
North Korea fired several unidentified short-range weapons off the country’s east coast into the Sea of Japan over the weekend. South Korea said the projectiles were launched on May 4 and flew 70 to 200 km before crashing into the sea, The Associated Press reported.
“Clearly, Pyongyang is frustrated with the conclusion of the recent summit with Washington in Vietnam that did not produce any breakthrough,” Center for the National Interest Director Harry J. Kazianis told The New York Times. “It also seems clear that North Korea is angry over what appears to be a lack of flexibility in the Trump administration’s position on relieving sanctions, sticking to a policy of ‘maximum pressure.’”
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