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North Korea fires unidentified projectile

21 Mai 2017

North Korea fired an unidentified ballistic missile from an area near Pukchang, according to the South Korean military's Joint Chiefs of Staff. It didn't immediately provide more details.

"This system, last tested in February, has a shorter range than the missiles launched in North Korea's three most recent tests", a White House official said.

The test comes just a week after the DPRK test-launched the new Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM), which was launched early last Sunday morning and flew 787km at a maximum height of 2111.5km.

U.S. President Donald Trump warned in an interview with Reuters in late April that a "major, major conflict" with the North was possible, but he said he would prefer a diplomatic outcome to the dispute over its nuclear and missile programs.

Last week, North Korea fired a missile that landed just 60 miles from Russian Federation.

In the meantime, the situation will likely continue to sway between nuclear provocations from the North and threats of economic and other sanctions from the United States, South Korea, and China.

Kim said there's also a possibility that the North is conducting engine tests and other experiments as it pushes for the development of a solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile that could potentially reach the USA mainland.

THAAD has risen as a key pending issue with Washington recently after Trump said Seoul should pay a staggering one billion USA dollars for the system - a cost that no agreement says South Korea is responsible for.

But North Korea has said its missile testing is in reaction to threats against it by the South, the USA and Japan.

North Korea conducted two nuclear tests a year ago alone, possibly improving its ability to make nuclear weapons small enough to fit on long-range missiles.

Seoul´s incoming left-leaning government has taken a more conciliatory line with Pyongyang than its conservative predecessors, but reacted strongly to the latest two missile tests.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reportedly hugged rocket research officials after witnessing the test, saying they "worked hard to achieve a great thing". "This is the DPRK's answer to the Trump administration".

"The U.S. model represents Western democracy, but it is crumbling, and the resulting social division has become more and more serious", the newspaper stated in an unsigned editorial.

Kim In Ryong also dismisses allegations that North Korea was behind the recent global cyberattacks as "ridiculous", saying "whenever something unusual happens it is the stereotype way of the United States and the hostile forces" to launch a campaign deliberately linking it to Pyongyang. The north also maintains a massive stockpile of chemical and biological weapons, even though they've been outlawed by the UN for decades; the United States destroyed its stockpiles in the 1990s. North Korea's military may be armed with outdated weapons, yet with 1.2 million men, the North Korean army poses a very real threat to South Korea, according to Fox News.

North Korea fires unidentified projectile