Further analysis needed to confirm NK fired 'ballistic missiles': Seoul

A satellite image from Planet Labs shows the North Korean missile launch on May 4

North Korea has fired at least one unidentified projectile, South Korea's military says, less than a week after it tested several short-range missiles.

The new KCNA statement did not say what kind of weapon was sacked.

Seoul's foreign ministry says Biegun will be here until Saturday, meeting with his counterpart, Lee Do-hoon, South Korea's special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs.

Trump told reporters the weapons were smaller, short-range missiles, but: "Nobody's happy about it".

Friday's event also brought together Megumi Yokota's younger brother Takuya, Koichiro Iizuka, a son of Yaeko Taguchi who was kidnapped from an unknown location in 1978 at the age of 22, and Fred Warmbier, father of Otto Warmbier, a University of Virginia student who died in 2017 following more than a year in detention in North Korea.

The South Korean military official said the South Korean and USA militaries are jointly analyzing more details from the launch, including whether the missiles fired on Thursday were the same weapons the North tested on Saturday.

At the end of 2017, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un announced that his nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile programs were complete, and, indeed, no nuclear or ICBM tests have been conducted by the hardline state since then.

The military agreement was signed by defense chiefs of the two Koreas during the third summit in Pyongyang last September between ROK President Moon Jae-in and Kim.

"The fact that it was launched from the west side of the peninsula suggests that it was more than a long-range artillery or some sort of tactical battlefield system because in theory it would have to clear the Korean Peninsula".




However, the North Korean missile is also broadly similar to the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC) CM-401 anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) short-range ballistic missile revealed at the November 2018 Zhuhai Airshow.

Newsis reported Friday the Korean Veterans Association has called on Seoul to issue a strong response and "clearly identify" North Korea's intentions.

The new weapon's maneuverability and low flying has led some South Korean officials to hesitate to label the weapon a "ballistic missile", a weapon that would likely violate United Nations Security Council resolutions. It avoided using the words missile, rocket or projectile.

"But I don't think North Korea's latest series of projectile launches are violations of inter-Korean military agreements, because they occurred outside of the zone" where the two Koreas agreed not to conduct any military maneuvers.

"You can tell from the low apogee that this missile maneuvers a bit in boost to defeat missile defenses and aircraft hunting the launcher", said Jeffrey Lewis of CNS.

North Korea last conducted a major missile test in November 2017 when it flight-tested the Hwasong-15, which demonstrated the potential capability to reach deep into the US mainland.

With the consecutive weapons launches, North Korea is pressuring South Korea to turn away from the United States and support North Korea's position more strongly, said Du Hyeogn Cha, a visiting scholar at Seoul's Asan Institute for Policy Studies.

In addition, North Korea's latest launches, apparently, are aimed at negotiating a suspension of the joint US-South Korean military exercises, which Pyongyang considers a threat, during the inter-Korean and US-North Korean dialogue.

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