US Detects Failed North Korean Missile Launch

Seoul, – US Strategic Command systems detected a failed North Korean ballistic missile launch Saturday evening near the northwestern city of Kusong, the Pentagon said. “US Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) systems detected what we assess was a failed North Korean missile launch” at 12:33 p.m. Saturday (Korean time) near the northwestern city of Kusong, the command said in a statement.

“The missile is presumed to be a Musadan intermediate-range ballistic missile,” it said, adding the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) determined the missile launch from North Korea did not pose a threat to North America.

“We strongly condemn this and North Korea’s other recent missile tests, which violate UN Security Council Resolutions explicitly prohibiting North Korea’s launches using ballistic missile technology,” Cmdr. Gary Ross, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement.

“This provocation only serves to increase the international community’s resolve to counter the DPRK’s prohibited activities, including through implementing existing UN Security Council sanctions,” he said, adding that the US will raise the issue at the Security Council.

The US commitment to South Korea’s defense is “ironclad,” he said. “We call on North Korea to refrain from actions that further raise tensions in the region and focus instead on taking concrete steps toward fulfilling its commitments and international obligations,” the spokesman said.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) confirmed and condemned the launch early Sunday. It said Seoul and Washington closely shared information on the North’s failed missile launch and reached an analysis it was a Musudan missile that is estimated to have a range of more than 3,000 kilometers, Yonhap news agency reported. “The military maintains heightened vigilance against any provocations by the North,” the JCS said in a text message.

This year alone, Pyongyang conducted a nuclear test in January and another one in September, and test-fired six Musudan IRBM missiles between April and June, with one of the two missiles fired off on June 22, flying some 400 km and reaching an altitude of over 1,400 km. Of the seven Musudan launches conducted so far, only one is considered to have succeeded.

Source: Qatar News Agency