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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


KN-15 Pukguksong-2 MRBM

North Korean state media hailed the 20 May 2017 missile launch as a great success and confirmed that the projectile was a medium-range ballistic missile of a type called the Pukguksong-2, a land-based version of the submarine-launched ballistic missile Pukguksong-1. It also said Kim Jong-un has authorized the missiles to be mass produced for actual deployment. The missile was launched from an area north of Pyongyang and flew some 500 kilometers before falling into the East Sea. By comparison, the Hwasong-12 missile test-fired a week earlier flew some 700 kilometers. Experts say, if launched at the optimal angle, the Pukguksung-2 has a range of up to 2,000 kilometers, while the Hwasong-12 can fly 4,500 kilometers -- over twice as far.

Just days ahead of a U.S.-China summit, North Korea fired a ballistic missile into the East Sea. The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff(JCS) said that the missile was launched from the Sinpo region near the East Sea coast in South Hamgyong province at 6:42 a.m. Wednesday 05 april 2017. The missile flew only about 60 kilometers before it dropped in North Korean waters. The U.S. Pacific Command said that it believes the missile is a KN-15, referring to the Pukguksong-2 intermediate-range missile, which the regime test-fired 12 January 2017.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson expressed frustration over the repeated provocations by the North. In his three-line statement issued after the ballistic missile launch on Wednesday, the US top diplomat said the US had spoken enough about North Korea and has no further comment. In Tokyo, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the North’s missile launch will not be tolerated, calling it a violation of UN Security Council resolutions. Abe convened a meeting of the National Security Council and ordered related agencies to collect intelligence on North Korean missiles and to confirm the safety of Japanese aircraft and ships.

Launched 12 February 2017, just three weeks after Donald Trump came into office, it flew 500 kilometers before landing in the East Sea. A South Korean military source said it reached an altitude of 550 km (340 miles). The ROK JCS says that the missile was launched from Banghyeon air base in North Pyongan Province at a 90 degree angle, and that it reached an altitude of 550 kilometers. The North may have chosen a higher than normal "lofted" trajectory for the launch to intentionally shorten the flight distance.

The South Korean government condemned the launch. "The ballistic missile launch is a clear violation of UN Security Council resolutions, which forbid the regime from launching any type of ballistic missile. The recent launch is a grave threat to the international community's efforts to maintain peace and security in the region." Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe condemned North Korea's actions. "North Korea's most recent missile launch is absolutely intolerable. North Korea must fully comply with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions"

Washington did not initially take any individual action since the 12 February 2017 launch, but South Korea, the United States and Japan have requested an emergency UN Security Council meeting to discuss North Korea's ballistic missile launch.

On 22 March 2017 North Korea tried, but failed, to conduct a new missile launch, according to South Korea’s Joint Chief of Staff and US Pacific Command. The alleged botched launch comes amid heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula and a day after Pyongyang showcased its new sea based and intercontinental missiles. “The communist state attempted to launch an unidentified missile from the port city of Sinpo on its east coast in the morning and the launch is presumed to have failed,” the South Korean military said, according to Yonhap news.

The attempted missile launch was also detected by the US military, which said it “blew up almost immediately” after the launch at 9:21pm GMT. “US Pacific Command detected and tracked what we assess was a North Korean missile launch at 11:21 a.m. Hawaii time April 15. The launch of the ballistic missile occurred near Sinpo," US Pacific Command spokesman Commander David Benham said. “The missile blew up almost immediately. The type of missile is still being assessed.” Two US officials told Reuters there’s a “high degree of confidence” the projectile was a land-based but not an intercontinental ballistic missile.

On 15 april 2017 North Korea tried, but allegedly failed, to conduct a new missile launch, according to South Korea’s Joint Chief of Staff and US Pacific Command. “US Pacific Command detected and tracked what we assess was a North Korean missile launch at 11:21 a.m. Hawaii time April 15. The launch of the ballistic missile occurred near Sinpo," US Pacific Command spokesman Commander David Benham said. “The missile blew up almost immediately. The type of missile is still being assessed.” While the assessment is still ongoing, two US officials told Reuters there’s a “high degree of confidence” the projectile was a land-based but not an intercontinental ballistic missile. Meanwhile, Seoul officials told Yonhap that the failed missile launched on Sunday resembled the type of a projectile the North fired earlier this month. On April 5, Pyongyang triggered what is believed to be a KN-15 medium-range ballistic missile. Also fired from the Sinpo area, it flew some 60 kilometers before falling into the Sea of Japan.



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Page last modified: 03-10-2019 18:30:21 ZULU