Published: Sun, June 18, 2017
World News | By Penny Hart

N. Korea says launch tested 'new type' of cruise missile

N. Korea says launch tested 'new type' of cruise missile

North Korea fired several suspected short-range surface-to-ship cruise missiles off its east coast early this today, South Korea's military said.

North Korea fired off what appeared to be four anti-ship missiles into the sea between the Korean Peninsula and Japan Wednesday, according to local media, days after USA and South Korean ships concluded joint military exercises there.

The North's missile tests present a hard challenge to Moon, a liberal elected last month who has expressed a desire to reach out to Pyongyang.

North Korea unveiled a number of new weapons at a massive military parade on April 15 to mark the birth anniversary of the state's founding leader and has since tested some of them.

As of June 9, North Korea has fired 16 missiles over 10 testing events.

North Korea didn't say how many anti-ship missiles it launched, but South Korean national security director Chung Eui-yong said later Friday the North had fired four short-range missiles on Thursday.

Moon advocated reconciliation with Seoul's isolated, unpredictable neighbour but has taken a more stern position in the wake of the missile tests, which pose a policy challenge to the new left-leaning leader.

The cruise missile firing does not violate UN Security Council resolutions against the North, which ban launches using ballistic missile technology, Yonhap said.

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North Korea has successfully tested a new "ground-to-sea cruise rocket", according to state media.

"The Philippines expresses grave concern on the DPRK's [Democratic People's Republic of Korea], missile launches on May 21 and May 29 which were carried out in defiance of repeated warnings by the worldwide community", the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said in a statement.

Shortly afterwards, on May 30, the USA conducted its first ever test of a Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) interceptor with a capacity to shoot down intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), that Washington said was planned "years in advance".

On Tuesday, Sputnik reported the withdrawal of United States aircraft carriers from the Sea of Japan - in North Korea's front yard.

North Korea launched a series of short-range missiles early Thursday that appeared to be created to attack ships, the latest provocation by Kim Jong Un's isolated regime. The USS Ronald Reagan and USS Carl Vinson had been monitoring any possible military action from the North while showing Pyongyang the extent of the US Navy's reach and might. This puts the US state of Alaska within range, and Washington is concerned by what it considers the clear and realistic threat posed by North Korea.

Thursday's launch is the first since the United Nations Security Council unanimously passed new sanctions last week.

In the past, when North Koreans rescued from South Korean waters have chosen to stay in the South, North Korea has accused South Korea of holding them against their will.

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