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North Korea tests multiple ‘newly developed’ missile systems

An intercontinental ballistic missile is launched in North Korea. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service)
August 01, 2019

North Korea said on Thursday it conducted another test of a “newly developed” missile system under the supervision of Kim Jong Un.

The system, as described by the state-owned Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), is a “large-caliber multiple launch guided rocket system,” NPR reported, which could possibly hit targets near by, including South Korea and U.S. military bases.

The KCNA report didn’t mention the United States or South Korea, but experts believe North Korea’s recent missile tests could pose a threat to South Korea’s defense, according to the Associated Press.

Kim expressed his satisfaction over the tests they conducted on Wednesday, KCNA said, according to the Associated Press. He added that the newly developed rocket system would serve a “main role” in his military and it would create “inescapable distress to the forces becoming a fat target of the weapon.”

Wednesday’s missile test is just one in a series North Korea has conducted this summer, with multiple tests being conducted in the past week.

North Korea fired two unknown missiles off the east coast last week. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that North Korea “fired one unidentified projectile at 5:34 a.m. and the other at 5:57 a.m., from Wonsan areas into the East Sea, and they flew around 430 kilometers,” according to Yonhap on July 24.

The missile test last week was possibly a response to a joint exercise with the U.S. and South Korean militaries, according to Kyodo News.

Upon the initial assessment last week, a U.S. defense official told CNN, at least one unidentified projectile was fired, noting that it was similar to North Korea’s launch of two short-range missiles on May 9.

During the tests on May 9, North Korea launched the two missiles from the Sino-ri missile base located in Kusong approximately 130 miles north of the South Korea border, American Military News reported. The first missile reportedly traveled 260 miles and the second 170 miles.

Other weapons tests conducted by North Korea include a short-range missile test on May 5 and a “tactical guided weapon” on April 17. This summer’s missile launches by North Korea are the country’s first since 2017.

U.S. leaders are still cautiously hopeful they can continue nuclear truce talks, saying the latest missile firings don’t violate previous agreements, Reuters reported.

“The firing of these missiles don’t violate the pledge that Kim Jong Un made to the president about intercontinental-range ballistic missiles,” U.S. national security adviser John Bolton said in an interview with Fox Business News.

“But you have to ask when the real diplomacy is going to begin, when the working-level discussions on denuclearization will begin, as Kim Jong Un again said on June 30 he was prepared to do. We’re still waiting to hear from North Korea.”