North Korea Test Fires Anti-Ship Missiles

09.06.2017 Asia
North Korea Test Fires Anti-Ship Missiles

North Korea Test Fires Anti-Ship Missiles

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North Korea has fired several anti-ship missiles from the coast of the city of Wonsan, the South Korean military announced Thursday.  The missiles managed to fly for 125 miles before landing in water.

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said the missiles began firing at 06:18 am and continued to fire for about a minute.

The latest provocation came less than a week after United Nations Security Council passed a new resolution expanding sanctions against the country as punishment for its missile tests.

It was the latest barrage of an increasingly frequent series of missile tests carried out by the North Korean regime. Pyongyang had launched three in fewer than three weeks last month.

The remote country is on pace to break its record setting 2016 missile test-launch record.

The launches have created international alarm, and there are fears that North Korea is moving towards its ultimate goal of putting a nuclear warhead on a missile.

The new missile tests come as South Korea suspended its use of the American-based missile defense system THAAD.

The launch is the fifth since liberal Moon Jae-in was elected as South Korea’s new President in May. Moon has suggested improving relations between the two countries through more peaceful means.

The new missile tests come as South Korea suspended its use of the American-based missile defense system THAAD.

The Terminal High-Altitude Defense System (THAAD) has already been in operation in southeastern South Korea, with two launchers and radar. The system typically has six launchers – four of which are in in South Korea, but have yet to be installed.

South Korea’s new President said his office was not briefed on the arrival of four new launchers and ordered an investigation. He also demanded an environmental assessment on the deployment site, saying the country’s Defense Ministry might be attempting to avoid an environmental inspection there.

Over the last two months, the USS Carl Vinson, a third-Nimitz class aircraft supercarrier, has sailed in the South China Sea to conduct drills with the South Korean military. Roh Jae-Cheon, the South Korean military spokesman, said the purpose of the North Korean tests was likely to “show off its ability to precisely target a large warship.”

“By testing different types of missiles, North Korea also appears to be aiming to secure the upper hand in relations with South Korea and the United States,” he said.

“It is incumbent upon us to assume that North Korea today can range the United States with an ICBM carrying a nuclear warhead,” Vice Admiral James Syring from the U.S. Department of Defense, told a congressional hearing.

There are about 28,500 U.S. troops in South Korea as deterrence against potential aggression from North Korea.

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