The United States and South Korean officials released a statement saying that North Korea had conducted another ballistic missile test. In the last few months North Korea has been speeding up its development of nuclear weapons and missiles. This has created tensions, not just with the United States and South Korea, but with Japan and China also.
The South Korean Office of Joint Chiefs of Staff released a statement Sunday afternoon stating that the launch came from an area near Pukchang, in South Phyongan Province, and flew eastward about 310 miles. U.S. Pacific Command confirmed the lunch by stating that the they had tracked the missile until it landed into the sea.
The White House stated that it was aware that North Korea had tested a mid-range ballistic missile, but did not have any further comments.
U.S. officials stated that North Korea had tested a longer-range missile last weekend. This means that North Korea has had a significant advance in its weapons program. Many experts believe that North Korea’s objective is to develop a nuclear-tipped missile that can strike America. This latest missile test has triggered a new push for a fresh round of U.N. sanctions against North Korea.
On Friday, North Korea’s deputy U.N. envoy stated that his country will continue to conduct missile test and further strengthen its nuclear program. He further stated that they will what is necessary to counter any U.S. aggression to their country.
In a press release Kim In Ryong told reporters that the United States, hostile policy towards North Korea was the root of all problems. He further stated that regardless of U.S. sanctions, North Korea would never abandon its “nuclear deterrence for self-defense and pre-emptive strike capability”
On Friday, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, stated that North Korea is clearly not complying with pressure from the international community. Secretary Jim Mattis further stressed the need for a peaceful resolution. He stated that any military taken to resolve the standoff with North Korea would be “tragic on an unbelievable scale”.
On Sunday, 9 a.m., local time, North Korea confirmed its latest missile launch. The official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said that on Monday morning the military had conducted another medium-to-long range ballistic missile test called the Pukguksong-2. The missile test was ordered by the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and it is believed that he supervised the test from an observation post near the launch site.
U.S. and South Korean officials stated that the missile had medium-range capabilities and that he flew approximately 500 kilometers, or 310 miles.
North Korea officials stated that the purpose of the missile launch was to verify technical indexes of the weapon system and examine its adaptability under various battle conditions before deployment to military units for action. This means that the missile could be ready to deploy to military units in the area.