North Korea on Wednesday fired two intermediate-range ballistic missiles, one of which exploded mid-air, U.S. Strategic Command said.
According to USSTRATCOM, its systems detected what was assessed to be simultaneous launches of two No Dong missile launches at 7:53 a.m., near the western city of Hwangju, Hwanghae Province.
(YTN News Capture)
“Initial indications reveal one of the missiles exploded immediately after launch, while the second was tracked over North Korea and into the (East Sea) Sea of Japan,” the USSTRATCOM said in a press release.
The Rodong missile launched is presumed to have a flight range of around 1,300 kilometers.
Earlier in the day, Joint Chiefs of Staff had said that the communist state had fired one Rodong missile at 7:50 a.m. near Eunyul, also located in Hwanghae Province.
The JCS later confirmed the USSTRATCOM’s assessment.
Wednesday‘s launch marked the 32nd time North Korea had launched ballistic missiles since the youthful leader Kim Jong-un took over the helm of the reclusive nation in 2011.
This year also marked the first time that Pyongyang fired its Musudan ballistic missiles, presumed to have a maximum range of about 3,000 kilometers, which would put the U.S. military base in Guam within range. The missiles have been deployed in the field since 2007, but had never actually been fired.
While most of the Musudan launches have been evaluated as failures, its test-launch in June has widely been assessed here as a success.
In light of rising nuclear and missile threats from Pyongyang, South Korea and the U.S. recently agreed to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile system in the country’s southern region of Seongju, North Gyeongsang Province.
By Yoon Min-sik