North Korea fires 2 mid-range ballistic missiles as US worries

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North Korea on 22 June launched two new Musudan mid-range ballistic missiles, the US and South Korean military officials said, its fifth and sixth such attempts since April.

Despite the repeated failures, the North’s conviction in testing the missile has raised the worries of Washington and its allies, as it’s range Asia and the Pacific within reach.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said the missile was well short of 3,500-km range and not long enough to be called intermediate.

On 22 June, the JCS said North Korea fired a suspected Musudan, which flew around 400 km. Seoul said the launch was not a success.

The launches would increase efforts of the international community to counter North Korea’s illegal weapons programme, said US State Department spokesperson John Kirby, according to Hindustan Times.

Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that such tests “cannot be tolerated”.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff statement said the first Musudan launch was conducted on 22 June in Wonsan City has failed. Japan’s Defense Ministry said the missile fragmented and pieces fell into waters off the Korean Peninsula’s east coast.

Earlier, Pyongyang had conducted a nuclear test and fired a long-range rocket which many felt was a cover for a test of banned missile technology.