South Korea’s Military on February 12 confirmed that North Korea has fired a ballistic missile that flew about 500 kilometers after launch. According to media reports, the missile was launched at around 7:55 a.m. local time (2255 GMT Saturday) near Banghyeon in North Pyongan province of North Korea.
However, the type of the missile has not been identified as yet. Initial media reports suggest that the missile launch was to check the response of United States President Donald Trump. The missile that travelled about 500 kms landed east towards the Sea of Japan. Japan lashed out at South Korea stating that it was nothing but armed provocation and affirmed that action will be taken.
Last year, North Korea conducted a “higher level” nuclear warhead test explosion, which it trumpeted as finally allowing it to build “at will” an array of stronger, smaller and lighter nuclear weapons. It was Pyongyang’s fifth atomic test and the second in eight months.
South Korea’s president, Park Geun-hye, called the detonation, which Seoul estimated had produced the North’s biggest-ever explosive yield, an act of “fanatic recklessness.”
The North’s boast of a technologically game-changing nuclear test defies both tough international sanctions and long-standing diplomatic pressure to curb its nuclear ambitions. It was reportedly going to raise serious worries in many world capitals that Pyongyang has moved another step closer to its goal of a nuclear-armed missile that could one day strike the U.S. mainland.
Hours after Seoul noted unusual seismic activity near the North’s northeastern nuclear test site, Pyongyang said in its state-run media that a test had “finally examined and confirmed the structure and specific features of movement of (a) nuclear warhead that has been standardised to be able to be mounted on strategic ballistic rockets.”