South Korea fires warning shots at North after 'drone' crosses border

Pablo Tucker
May 23, 2017

The hermit state said they were legitimate acts of self-defence by a "fully-fledged nuclear power" and are not against worldwide law, North Korean diplomat Ju Yong Chol told the UN Conference on Disarmament on Tuesday.

Chung's remarks came after his visits with political parties earlier Monday, one day after his appointment.

North Korea has recently bolstered its drone program, with drone attack drills on simulated targets in the South carried out.

The launch was the latest in a series this year as Pyongyang steps up its efforts to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting the United States.

"I believe we must review the possibility as I believe we could resume exchanges in various areas, such as personnel, social, cultural and sports, as long as they do not undermine the global framework of sanctions against North Korea", he added.

In January, continued the Times report, the Pentagon's Operational Test and Evaluation office, in its annual report on USA defense programs, rated GMD's reliability as "low".

Kim Jong Un's regime has responded defiantly, forging ahead with its missile tests, though the country has held back on conducting another nuclear test.

The South Korean military has reportedly fired shots at the unidentified object - thought to be a missile or drone - flying across the border from the North.

Tensions have spiked on the Korean Peninsula in recent years over North Korea's missile and nuclear programs.

The North's leader approved the deployment of the Pukguksong-2 for action, calling it a "successful strategic weapon", the KCNA said.

"Now that its tactical and technical data met the requirements of the Party, this type of missile should be rapidly mass-produced in a serial way., he said".

On Monday, Pyongyang also unveiled photos of the Earth taken by a camera mounted on the ballistic missile, and the move is being interpreted as an attempt to demonstrate its mastery over missile atmospheric re-entry technology.

An advanced United States missile defense system, is already operational in South Korea, and can intercept ballistic missiles launched by the regime of Kim Jong-un in North Korea.

The missile, a solid-fuel "Pukguksong-2", flew about 500 kilometers (310 miles) and reached a height of 560 kilometers (350 miles) before plunging into the Pacific Ocean. These were the two demands North Korea made, and the Clinton administration agreed to, in 1994, when North Korea pledged to stop producing plutonium in exchange for nuclear power plants.

The use of solid fuel presents great advantages for weapons because the fuel is more stable and can be transported easily in the missile's tank allowing for a launch on very short notice.

Experts say solid fuel engines and mobile launchers make it more hard to detect signs of launch preparations.

John Schilling, a missile expert contributing to Washington's 38 North think tank, estimated it would take until at least 2020 for North Korea to be able to develop an ICBM capable of reaching the U.S. mainland and until 2025 for one powered by solid fuel.

It called the missile - capable of reaching Japan and major USA military bases there - an "answer" to President Trump's policies.

The North, which says it needs nuclear weapons to defend itself against the threat of invasion, later said it "flatly rejected" the United Nations statement, which had been drawn up by "the USA and its followers".

Other reports by iNewsToday