Seoul: 2 rescued North Koreans ask to defect to South

Posted June 18, 2017

North Korea says it has tested a new type of cruise missile that is a powerful means of attacking enemy warships, a day after South Korea's military detected projectiles fired from the eastern coastal town of Wonsan.

On Thursday, the North fired several short-range anti-ship cruise missiles from its east coast in defiance of worldwide sanctions.

South Korean observers said the missiles traveled about 125 miles before splashing down in waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan, where the USA aircraft carriers USS Carl Vinson and USS Ronald Reagan participated in joint exercises with the South Korean Navy that ended earlier this week.

The launch is the fifth since liberal Moon Jae-in was elected as South Korea's new president in May.

If Thursday's test did indeed involve the new KN-01 CDCM TEL, North Korea will have shown off its fourth brand new missile system since February.

KCNA said the weapon that was tested on Thursday featured in a military parade in Pyongyang on April 15, which marked the birthday of the North's founding father Kim Il-Sung.

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Each test whether succeeds or not but certainly it improves missile technology and finally delivering information that aids North near attaining its aim of developing a missile that could reach the U.S., analysts state.

North Korea fired on Thurday several anti-ship cruise missiles from the country's east coast, South Korea's military said, as cited by South Korean news agency Yonhap.

The US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) also warned that Pyongyang's missile tests in the last six months have become a cause for concern to the US and its allies in the region.

North Korea additionally tested the Pongae-5 surface-to-air missile system successfully in May, with Kim Jong-un declaring that the system had reached initial operating capability. The missiles managed to fly for 125 miles before landing in water.

The launches come less than a week after the United Nations expanded sanctions against Pyongyang in response to recent ballistic missile tests.

His British counterpart Matthew Rycroft pointed out that - unlike ballistic missile launches - the cruise missile tests, while "irresponsible" and "destabilizing", probably do not violate United Nations resolutions barring Pyongyang from engaging in ballistic missile activity.

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The missile was believed to be a Scud-class ballistic missile and flew about 450 km (280 miles), South Korean officials said.

The USS Carl Vinson and USS Ronald Reagan carrier strike groups conducted joint drills with the South Korean military, in what defense officials told CNN could be interpreted as a tough USA military posture.

However the expert pointed out that the greater threat is that North Korea has also developed miniaturized nuclear warheads that can be mounted not only on ICBMs but on most of its ballistic missiles.

It added that the South Korean military had beefed up surveillance and vigilance against the possibility of additional provocations by the North Korean regime.

North Korea's claim of victory has not be independently verified.

"It is also expressing displeasure of the arrival of a United States nuclear submarine in South Korea".

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