N. Korea launches a ballistic missile into the ocean off the coast
Tensions in Korea
North Korea launched a ballistic missile into the waters off its east coast on Sunday, according to South Korean and Japanese officials. ...
...South Korea's Joint Chief of Staff confirmed the launch took place on Sunday morning but provided no additional information.
The launch was also confirmed by the Japanese Prime Minister's Office.
The Defense Ministry reportedly informed the Japanese Coast Guard that a suspected missile launch from North Korea had landed in the waters ...
...between Japan and the Korean Peninsula. The Coast Guard did not specify how far the launch was from the Japanese coast, however.
The missile landed outside of Japan's exclusive economic zone, according to unnamed government sources cited by the country's NHK national television.
The launch on Sunday came three days after North Korea claimed to have tested a "high-thrust solid-fuel motor" for a brand-new strategic weapon, a development ...
...that might enable it to have a more mobile, more difficult-to-detect arsenal of intercontinental ballistic missiles that can reach the US mainland.
North Korea has tested a number of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles recently, including the Hwasong-17 ICBM, which ...
...was launched last month and is the country's longest-range, liquid-fueled, multiple-warhead ICBM under development.
According to some experts, North Korea would eventually use a larger arsenal to pressure the US for other concessions and a lifting of sanctions.
Since North Korea has conducted all of its recent intercontinental ballistic missile tests at a steep angle to avoid neighboring countries, the precise status of its nuclear attack capability remains a mystery.
Given the length of time it has invested in developing its nuclear program, some experts believe North Korea already has operational missiles with nuclear warheads that are capable of striking the entire US.
Others, however, assert that the country is still years away from acquiring such weapons because it has not yet made a public ...
...demonstration that it has a technology to shield warheads from the challenging circumstances of atmospheric reentry.
In response to North Korea's developing nuclear program, the US and South Korea have pushed to strengthen their joint defense capability and increased the scope of their routine military exercises.
North Korea has threatened to use nuclear weapons as a first line of defense in potential conflicts with the US and South Korea. ...
...The US military has issued warnings to the North, telling them that using nuclear weapons will lead to the end of their regime.