North Korea fires ballistic missile

Posted at 10:00 PM, Aug 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-02 22:00:21-04

SEOUL — North Korea fired a ballistic missile around 7:50 a.m. Wednesday, according to the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The missile was launched from an area in North Korea’s South Hwanghae province, in the country’s southwest, and fired across the peninsula into the sea in the east.

It’s not yet clear what type of missile was fired.

On July 19, North Korea fired three ballistic missiles off its eastern coast.

Those were believed to be short-range, Scud or Rodong type and flew 300 to 380 miles (500 to 600 kilometers), said Jeon Ha-gyu, spokesman for the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff.

North Korean state media said Kim Jong Un, the country’s leader, personally “provided field guidance” for that drill.

Missile tests have become more frequent under Kim Jong Un’s reign. The more tests the reclusive nation carries out, the more it can fix its mistakes, refining and improving its missile technology, experts say.

Though the country has continued to improve its nuclear and missile capabilities, it has yet to successfully pair the two.

Last month, South Korea announced it will deploy the advanced U.S THAAD missile defense system in Seongju County, about 155 miles (250 kilometers) southeast of Seoul.

When active, the system should be able to defend two-thirds of South Korea from an attack by its northern neighbor.

North Korea’s military viewed the THAAD deployment as a provocation and said the United States and South Korea would “suffer from the nightmare extreme uneasiness and terror” in response.