South Korea tests missile with warning to North

Posted June 26, 2017

South Korean President Moon Jae-in observed the test-firing of a new midrange missile the country is developing to cope with growing threats from North Korea.

South Korean officials, including President Moon, will meet with President Trump later this month to discuss a joint strategy to stop North Korea's weapon development.

North Korea's test on Thursday could be for the smallest stage of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) rocket engine, said the United States official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon told war veterans and government officials at a ceremony in Seoul: "The North continues provocative military actions such as launching a ballistic missile".

North Korea has carried out another test of a rocket engine that the United States believes could be part of its program to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile, a USA official told Reuters on Thursday.

Park didn't say how far the Hyunmoo-2 missile flew or where it landed, but said it accurately hit its target area.

Saying that he wanted to evaluate South Korea's missile capability for himself, Moon added that he is now reassured.

But there are fears Pyongyang will use the date to conduct a sixth nuclear test and more ballistic missile launches in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions.

All four tests including the one on Friday were successful. After two more tests, the 800-kilometer range ballistic missile system will be deployed as a crucial part of South Korea's so-called Kill Chain system, which is supposed to allow pre-emptive strikes on North Korea's missile sites at times of imminent threats. In addition to expanding its missile arsenal, South Korea is also strengthening its missile defense, which include Patriot-based systems and a high-tech Terminal High Altitude Area Defense battery now under deployment in the southeastern county of Seongju.

The US has also urged China, Pyongyang's sole ally, to exert more economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea to help rein in its nuclear and missile programmes.

Last week United States student Otto Warmbier died just days after being released from a North Korean prison, having spent 17 months in a North Korean jail.

Congress is now preparing legislation to ban American travel to North Korea. We have repeatedly said that China has been making unremitting efforts to solve the issue and has played an active and constructive role.

According to unnamed U.S. officials there are signs of increased activity at North Korea's lone nuclear test site.

"Given the increasing sophistication of North Korea's missile provocations, South Koreans are very curious about the extent of the South Korean military's missile capability".