North Korea Launches Another Ballistic Missile
It’s becoming a weekend tradition.
Almost exactly one week after the latest ballistic missile test launch by Pyongyang last Sunday, and two weeks after a similar launch the weekend prior, North Korea has fired its latest unidentified ballistic missile early on Monday, South Korea’s military said according to Yonhap News. According to NBC, the North Korean missile flew for 6 miles after launch and landed in the Sea of Japan.
The launch will be the 12th missile Pyongyang has fired this year (according to the WSJ, and 9th according to Bloomberg, which count launch “errors” differently).
North Korea test-fired a new mid-to-long-range rocket, which it calls the
Hwasong-12, on May 14, 2017
The unidentified missile was fired from near the North Korean coastal city of Wonsan, Seoul’s Joint Chief of Staff (JCS) said. The missile flew in a easterly direction, sources said.
The launch was immediately reported to President Moon Jae-in, who called a meeting of the National Security Council at 7:30 a.m. (2230 GMT Sunday), the South Korean office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement, according to Reuters.
While there was little initial information, the North Korean projectile may fall into waters of Japan’s exclusive economic zone, or EEZ, according to Japan’s public broadcaster NHK which cited the Japanese government.
NHK also adds that the Defense Ministry is analyzing details such as projectile path, and added that the foreign ministry will – again – protest to North Korea using diplomatic channels. Prime Minister’s office collecting information in task office from related agencies and heighten alert.
There has been no official response from the White House yet, altough we expect the token “the White House is aware of the launch” will be fortcoming momentarily.
Trump, who has said all options are on the table to deal with Kim’s regime, has repeatedly sought more help from China to rein in its neighbor and ally. Acting Assistant Secretary of State Susan Thornton on Friday acknowledged China’s efforts such as banning North Korean coal imports and tightening border controls, while adding that “they clearly have to do more.” Clearly, because on Friday Yonhap reported that North Korea’s grain imports from China showed a more than fivefold surge last month from a year ago.
At least North Korea has so far this year refrained from conducting a nuclear test, something which even Beijing has said would be a ‘red line.”
Meanwhile, as reported yesterday, a third US aircraft carrier, the USS Nimitz is now making its way to the Korean Peninsula where it will join the Carl Vinson and Ronald Reagan, ahead of what many anticipate could be a “decapitation” attack on the North Korean regime.