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North Korea conducts fifth missile test in a month

13 Juin 2017

The drone measuring 1.8 meters long and 2.4 meters wide was found on Friday (8 June), a day after Pyongyang tested a new kind of anti-ship missile, Yonhap news agency reported.

On Thursday morning the North test-fired several projectiles from near the eastern coastal city of Wonsan in Gangwon Province toward the East Sea.

Newly tested missiles could be seen as "defensive in nature" - they are created to thwart enemy warship.

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.

North Korea said Friday it has tested a new type of cruise missile that could strike USA and South Korean warships "at will" if it is attacked, in an apparent reference to the projectiles detected by Seoul when they were launched a day earlier.

North Korea waited to test these missiles until two USA aircraft carrier strike groups armed to the teeth with missile defense capabilities left its shores, perhaps to avoid embarrassment should the United States knock them down.

It added that the missiles were 'accurately detected and hit the floating targets on the East Sea of Korea'.

"It is incumbent upon us to assume that North Korea today can range the United States with an ICBM carrying a nuclear warhead", Vice Adm. James Syring told a congressional hearing.

Kim Jong-un can be seen surrounded by war officials while watching from a balcony and studying a map.

"We'll be conducting more missile tests on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis", Vice Foreign Minister Han Song Ryol said at the time.

The Security Council voted unanimously on June 2 to add 15 individuals and four entities linked to North Korea's nuclear and missile programs to a United Nations sanctions blacklist.

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Yesterday, South Korea officials made an ill-advised decision to halt further implementation of the US missile defense system known as THAAD.

North Korea is believed to have figured out how to mount a miniaturized nuclear bomb on a ballistic missile, the re-entry vehicle is suspected to have survived the IRBM test, and the North's engine technology has improved.

The North's official Korean Central News Agency said that Thursday's launches were of "a powerful attack means capable of striking any enemy group of battleships attempting at military attack on the DPRK from the ground at will". The missiles, some of the most advanced weapons systems in Pyongyang's arsenal, flew for more than a hundred miles before falling into the Sea of Japan.

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

With each test by North Korea of missiles, the U.N. Security Council expresses more frustration that its condemnations and assets freezes are doing little to halt the advancement of Pyongyang's nuclear program, CBS News' Pamela Falk reports from the U.N. Cruise missiles are not subject to the U.N. sanctions.

Moon has advocated for warmer ties with North Korea, taking a less militaristic approach than his predecessor.

Tension on the peninsula has been particularly high over the past year because of the North's work on its nuclear and missile programs.

Shortly afterwards, on May 30, the U.S. conducted its first ever test of a Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) interceptor with a capacity to shoot down intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), that Washington said was planned "years in advance".

Recent missile tests by Kim showed possible advancements in distance and accuracy.

The launch followed the departure of the US aircraft carriers USS Carl Vinson and USS Ronald Reagan from the region after conducting joint exercises with allies South Korea and Japan.

"What appeared to be a new type of land-to-ship missile equipped with four launching canisters was unveiled at the parade".