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North Korea fires short-range missile

An intercontinental ballistic missile is launched in North Korea. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service)
May 03, 2019
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This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates as more information becomes available.

North Korea test-fired a short-range missile early Saturday local time.

The country “fired a missile from its east coast town of Wonsan in the eastern direction at 9:06 a.m. today,” South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said in a statement reported by South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported.

Both South Korean and U.S. officials are reportedly assessing details of the missile and its launch.

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The missile was fired toward the East Sea. No other details were immediately available.

It is the first North Korean missile test since 2017.

The test comes two weeks after North Korea test-fired a “tactical guided weapon.”

The state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) described the weapon as “tactical” and subsequent reports suggested that it was likely a short-range weapon, rather than a long-range ballistic missile such as North Korea has test-fired in the past, but that it had a “peculiar mode of guiding flight” and “a powerful warhead.”

Kim reportedly called the test and new weapon system one of “very weighty significance in increasing the combat power” of North Korea.

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan later confirmed that the weapon was not a missile.

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“I’m not going to go into the detailed intelligence, but the way I’d characterize is it is not a ballistic missile,” Shanahan told reporters, according to The Hill.

“I’m not being cagey here, it’s just what’s important is it wasn’t ballistic,” he added.

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