US Military Revises Report on NK Missile Launch

Alan Olson
August 29, 2017

North Korea fired several rockets into the sea Saturday in the continuation of its rapid nuclear and missile expansion, prompting South Korea to press ahead with military drills involving US troops that have angered Pyongyang. The launches occurred in the midst of the US and South Korea's annual military exercises. Dave Benham says the two missiles flew about 155 miles.

The launches come as tens of thousands of South Korean and USA troops take part in joint military drills in the South, which Pyongyang views as a highly provocative rehearsal for an invasion of its own territory. "I respect the fact that he is starting to respect us", Trump said of Kim.

Neither Japan nor South Korea confirmed the USA military's description of the weapons fired by North Korea as "ballistic missiles".

Their biggest achievements were North Korea's successful launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) in July proving they could reach the continental United States.

After weeks of relative calm, North Korea has carried out three missile test launches, with US and South Korean officials describing them as "ballistic missiles" fired toward the East Sea, not far from Japan. "We place confidence in our US Department of Defense capabilities and continue open communications with our federal and military partners". They say the North may limit its reactions to low-level provocations like artillery and short-range missile launches.

Last week, Mr Trump praised North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for his "wise" decision while UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he had told Russia, Japan, the United States, China and North and South Korea that he was available to help broker talks.

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South Korea and the United States agreed to deploy the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense anti-missile system in response to the growing missile threat from North Korea. "We view it as provocative against the United States and its allies".

This is the latest development in escalating tensions between North Korea and the USA, which have been simmering for months.

The Korean Central News Agency said that the “target striking contest” involved war planes, multiple-rocket launchers and self-propelled guns that attacked targets meant to represent South Koreas Baengnyeong and Yeonpyeong islands before special operation combatants “landed by surprise” on rubber boats. All US and Russian ballistic missiles are solid-fuel models.

On April 2009, Pyongyang launched a long-range rocket, which flew over Japan in what it said was an attempt to put a satellite into orbit, but which was seen by the US, Japan and South Korea as a disguised test of a Taepodong-2. North Korea has demonstrated significant advancements in its missile technology this year testing and is on a pace to test more missiles this year than in any previous calendar year.

Earlier this month Trump had warned that North Korea would be met with "fire and fury", if it continued with its threats.

"In regards to activity in North Korea tonight, the president has been briefed and we are monitoring the situation", she said.

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