Seoul believes N Korea's latest missile test ends in failure

Cheryl Sanders
April 3, 2017

North Korea has boasted it is developing a missile that could carry a nuclear warhead to the U.S. West Coast, but South Korea and Japan remain the most likely targets.

A state official roared that Pyongyang has "the will and capability" for conflict with Donald Trump's America. Three years ago, to be exact, Obama ordered the Pentagon to ramp up cyber-attacks against Pyongyang.

While the total number of coal imported appears to be well below the annual quota, when the December data is included China reaches the upper limit of coal restrictions, the South Korean official said.

South Korea's Defense Ministry said it also believes the launch from the eastern coastal town of Wonsan ended in failure.

Citing U.S. officials with knowledge of the most recent intelligence from North Korea, Fox News reports that the test could happen as early as next week. But it's the state theoretically most within reach of North Korea's missiles.

However, he did not elaborate on the progress the test showed the North had made, nor comment on whether the engine could be used for an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), saying the South Korean military was conducting analysis.

It is also thought that North Korea has sold missiles to Iran.

Obama, in the Times report, "warned President Trump they were likely to be the most urgent problem he would confront", adding that Kim Jong Un is aware of the US efforts to sabotage the missile testing, ordering an investigation into whether the USA was sabotaging North Korean missile launches.

North Korea is pushing hard to upgrade its weapons systems to cope with what it calls USA hostility. But unlike the Stuxnet, the malware wasn't able to compromise or breach North Korean systems.

"I think this is stemming from the visit by the secretary of state (Rex Tillerson) to Japan, South Korea and China.We of course are not afraid of any act like that", Choe told Reuters.

"Certainly we do not want things to get to a military conflict", Tillerson told reporters in Seoul. But if it was an intermediate-range Musudan, Wednesday's test would echo seven failures in 2016.

The council said in a statement Thursday that the launch and test "increase tension in the region and beyond as well as the risk of a regional arms race".

A Musudan launched in June past year flew 400 kilometres off the east coast of the peninsula and was hailed by Kim as proof of the North's ability to strike United States bases across the "Pacific operation theatre".

Other reports by iNewsToday