Monday, 09 December, 2019

Korea leader warns North after latest missile launch

Christy Curtis | 12 June, 2017, 09:41

North Korea confirmed on Friday that its Thursday missile launch was successful and was aimed at testing a new cruise anti-ship missile, the state KCNA news agency reported.

According to South Korea's military, North Korea fired several projectiles off its east coast on Thursday morning and they flew about 200 kilometers (125 miles) before splashing down between the Korean Peninsula and Japan.

Army Col. Roh Jae-Cheon, a spokesman for the South's Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the North's June 8 missile firing seemed aimed at "showing off its capability with various types of missiles and demonstrating its anti-ship precision-strike ability in connection with joint maritime drills involving US aircraft carrier strike groups".

It appears that North Korea's firing of the four anti-ship cruise missiles is a demonstration of its weapons capability, that it can accurately target any ship veering too close to its territory. They could, however, have applications in the event of a naval invasion from Japanese, South Korean, US or Chinese warships. He warned that North Korea could only face further global isolation and more economic difficulties.

Pyongyang said it would continue with missile tests until the USA makes the right choice, suggesting an openness to dialogue.

"We are aware, certainly, of the situation and the suspension of additional launchers", she said.

Experts said the new anti-ship missile has four launching canisters.

The regime also tested a mid-range ballistic missile on May 29. If it deploys those weapons in real battles, it can attack South Korea and Japan at the same time.

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Turkey had initially tried to position itself as an honest broker in the dispute among the Arab states . Ali Faik Demir, a member of the Galatasaray University International Relations Department.

The USS Carl Vinson and USS Ronald Reagan carrier strike groups conducted joint drills with the South Korean military, in what defense officials told CNN could be interpreted as a tough USA military posture.

The head of the US Missile Defense Agency, Vice Admiral James Syring, said on Wednesday technological advances demonstrated by North Korea in its ballistic missile programme in the past six months had caused him "great concern".

The missiles represent the fourth new missile system North Korea said it has introduced and successfully tested this year, sending a defiant message that it will continue to pursue a weapons program that has rattled its neighbors and Washington.

Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., chairman of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, called for a "quick and thorough review" that addresses environmental concerns in South Korea.

South Korean leader Moon has advocated for reconciliation with the North, but shifted to a more stern position following the latest missile tests, posing a significant policy challenge to the left-leaning president.

The isolated country, which has conducted dozens of missile tests and tested two nuclear bombs since the beginning of 2016 in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions, says the programme is necessary to counter USA aggression.

"THAAD was a decision made to protect South Korea and U.S. Forces Korea from North Korea's growing threats", he added. North Korea is said to possess such missiles with a roughly 100km range for use against targets including aircraft carriers.

The US has stepped up its muscle-flexing in recent months in response to what it sees as aggressive shows of strength by North Korea.

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