N. Korea fires two ballistic missiles

Cheryl Sanders
August 11, 2016

The 15-member council met behind closed doors for emergency talks called by the United States, Japan and South Korea over the ballistic missile launch, the latest provocation from Pyongyang.

The U.S. Strategic Command said initial indications were that a second missile exploded immediately after launch. According to The New York Times, this was the closest a North Korean missile had come to Japan since 1998, when Pyongyang fired one over it.

South Korean Ambassador Oh Joon said North Korea has conducted 13 rounds of missile launches this year, test-firing 29 missiles of a variety of ranges. It was the first time a missile landed in Japan's exclusive economic zone, which extends 200 nautical miles (370 kilometers) from shore.

The launch was an "outrageous act and a grave threat to our country's national security", Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said.

The US condemned what it called a clear violation of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions explicitly prohibiting North Korea's use of ballistic missile technology. Gary Ross, a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Defense, said that the incident "only serves to increase the global community's resolve to counter [North Korea's] prohibited activities".

The ministry spokesman said that under that trilateral information-sharing agreement, information sharing with Japan would be possible. The other flying about 600 miles into the sea off of Japan.

After the missile tests in July, North Korea's state media showed Kim seated before a map of the region with all of South Korea within missile range. The three-stage Unha-3 rocket which North Korea used to send a satellite into space in 2012 was 30 meters (98 feet) long.

The North's mid-range Rodong missile was sacked from Eunyul, near the country's south-western tip, at 7.50am. All are in defiance of a United Nations resolution prohibiting Pyongyang from developing ballistic missiles.

It is also seen as a protest against South Korea's decision to deploy the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (Thaad) anti-missile system in the country by the end of next year.

The United States was expected to circulate a draft council statement condemning North Korea, but China's ambassador Liu Jieyi urged caution.

Analyst Kim Dong-yub at Seoul's Institute for Far East Studies said the latest Rodong launch appeared to be aimed at showing an ability to attack US military bases in Japan, a major source of reinforcements for USA troops should a war break out on the Korean Peninsula. A Japanese expert on North Korean affairs, on the other hand, says North Korea may have intentionally dropped the missile within the EEZ "to demonstrate their capability to control the missile steadily and precisely".

South Korea's Yonhap news service reported the missile was one of two test launched Wednesday by Pyongyang.

The missile was launched from an area in North Korea's South Hwanghae province, in the country's southwest, and fired across the peninsula into the sea in the east. And the result of the threats may further embolden South Korean resolve. The two Koreas remain technically at war under a truce that ended fighting in the 1950-53 Korean War.

There are almost 30,000 United States troops permanently stationed in South Korea.

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