White House Official Confirms Discussions on S. Korean Missile Defense

Nick Mcbride
June 13, 2017

North Korea claims it has developed an anti-ship missile ready to be used for armed engagement at any time and "at will", Sputnik reported.

"The launched cruise rockets accurately detected and hit the floating targets on the East Sea of Korea after making circular flights", KCNA said. It has so far this year unveiled the Pukkuksong-2 medium-range ballistic missile, the Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile, and a new "ultra-precision" Scud.

However, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff noted that the test did not violate United Nations Security Council restrictions because the missiles did not travel high enough.

"North Korea's actions just prove ... that something along the lines of THAAD is something that's important to not only protect US forces, to protect our alliance, and also to protect - help to further strengthen the region", State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Thursday during a briefing.

North Korea has been regularly conducting missile tests, firing off everything from ballistic missiles to surface-to-air missiles to coastal defense cruise missiles.

Last month, North Korea debuted a new midrange missile that flew higher than missiles they previously tested, according to outside experts.

The launches came less than a week after the U.N. Security Council expanded its sanctions against Pyongyang over previous missile tests.

The launch comes one day after Moon's government suspended the deployment of a controversial USA missile defense system which had strained relations with China and angered North Korea.

But most agree that the country has made significant progress under Kim Jong-Un, who took power after the death of his father and longtime ruler, Kim Jong-Il, in December 2011.

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North Korean has reportedly launched four anti-ship missiles into the sea east of the Korean Peninsula near the eastern port city of Wonsan, Gangwon Province. They flew some 200 kilometers. "It will pose a considerable threat to US and South Korean navies", he said.

"The only thing North Korea will earn through provocations is global isolation and economic hardship, and it will lose opportunities for development", Mr Moon said at a meeting of the National Security Council yesterday, according to Blue House spokesman Park Soo Hyun.

Moon has advocated for warmer ties with North Korea, taking a less militaristic approach than his predecessor.

The tension in North Korea is growing worse every month as the missile development is gaining pace.

In Washington, the U.S. missile defense chief, Vice Admiral James Syring, told a congressional hearing on Wednesday that North Korea's missile program was a cause of "great concern".

Simultaneously, a new mobile launcher was also tested. The strike groups include the carriers USS Carl Vinson and the USS Ronald Reagan.

North Korea launched several cruise missiles into the Sea of Japan on Thursday, marking a fourth straight week of tests involving five different types of projectiles in a likely effort to showcase its military might.

"What appeared to be a new type of land-to-ship missile equipped with four launching canisters was unveiled at the parade. I would say we are addressing the threat that we know today", Syring said.

Other reports by VgToday

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