N. Korea fires ballistic missile 'to provoke Trump' — Seoul | Inquirer News
Close  

N. Korea fires ballistic missile ‘to provoke Trump’ — Seoul

/ 09:24 AM February 12, 2017
A  military vehicle carries what is believed to be a Taepodong-class missile Intermediary Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM), about 20 meters long, during a military parade to mark the 100 birth of the country's founder Kim Il-Sung in Pyongyang on April 15, 2012. The commemorations came just two days after a satellite launch timed to mark the centenary fizzled out embarrassingly when the rocket apparently exploded within minutes of blastoff and plunged into the sea.    AFP PHOTO / PEDRO UGARTE / AFP PHOTO / PEDRO UGARTE

A military vehicle carries what is believed to be a Taepodong-class missile Intermediary Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM), about 20 meters long, during a military parade to mark the 100 birth of the country’s founder Kim Il-Sung in Pyongyang on April 15, 2012. The commemorations came just two days after a satellite launch timed to mark the centenary fizzled out embarrassingly when the rocket apparently exploded within minutes of blastoff and plunged into the sea. AFP

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea fired a ballistic missile on Sunday in an apparent provocation to test the response from new US President Donald Trump, the South Korean defense ministry said.

The missile, launched around 7:55 am (6:55 a.m. Sunday, Manila time) from Banghyon air base in the western province of North Pyongan Province, flew east towards the Sea of Japan (East Sea), it said.

ADVERTISEMENT

The missile flew about 500 kilometers (310 miles) before falling into the sea, a defense ministry spokesman said, adding the exact type of missile had yet to be identified.

“It is believed that today’s missile launch … is aimed at drawing global attention to the North by boasting its nuclear and missile capabilities,” the ministry said in a statement.

FEATURED STORIES

“It is also believed that it was an armed provocation to test the response from the new US administration under President Trump,” it added.

Yonhap news agency said the South Korean military suspected the North might have been testing a intermediate-range Musudan missile.

Last October North Korea test-fired Musudan missiles twice from the same airbase.

On a visit to Seoul earlier this month, new US Defense Secretary James Mattis warned Pyongyang that any nuclear attack would be met with an “effective and overwhelming” response.

“Any attack on the United States or our allies will be defeated and any use of nuclear weapons would be met with a response that would be effective and overwhelming,” Mattis said.

Pyongyang in 2016 conducted two nuclear tests and numerous missile launches in its quest to develop a nuclear weapons system capable of hitting the US mainland.

In January leader Kim Jong-Un boasted that Pyongyang was in the “final stages” of developing an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in an apparent attempt to pressure the incoming US president.

ADVERTISEMENT

Trump shot back on Twitter, saying “It won’t happen.”

The latest North Korean launch also comes after Trump assured visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that Washington was committed to the security of its key Asian ally.

“We will work together to promote our shared interests, of which we have many, in the region, including freedom from navigation and defending against the North Korean missile and nuclear threat, both of which I consider a very, very high priority,” Trump said Friday.

Washington has repeatedly vowed that it would never accept North Korea as a nuclear-armed nation.

Analysts are divided over how close Pyongyang is to realizing its full nuclear ambitions, especially as it has never successfully test-fired an ICBM.

But all agree it has made enormous strides in that direction since Kim took over after the death of his father and longtime ruler, Kim Jong-Il, in December 2011.

The young leader is planning a “prime time” nuclear weapons push this year to take advantage of a leadership transition in South Korea — where the president has been impeached — and the US, a high-ranking North Korean defector said recently.

Thae Yong-Ho, a former deputy ambassador to Britain who recently defected to Seoul, said Kim would never trade away the North’s nuclear arsenal no matter how large a financial incentive might be offered. CBB/rga

Subscribe to our daily newsletter


Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Ballistic Missile, Donald Trump, News, North korea, South korea
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.



© Copyright 1997-2022 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.