SEOUL — North Korea has conducted two tests of a powerful new medium-range missile, with at least one launch ending in failure but the other flying a distance of 400 kilometers, South Korea’s Defence Ministry said.
Both tests were believed to be of a much-hyped, intermediate-range Musudan missile capable of reaching US bases as far away as Guam.
The first test shortly before 6:00am (local time) was deemed to have failed, but the ministry in Seoul said the second Musudan — fired from the same east coast location two hours later — had flown 400 kilometres into the East Sea (Sea of Japan).
“South Korea and the United States are conducting further analysis,” the ministry said in a statement that stopped short of labelling the second test a success.
After four failed Musudan launches earlier this year, a successful test would mark a major step forward for a weapons program that ultimately aspires to develop a proven nuclear strike capability against the US mainland.
The US State Department strongly condemned the launches, saying they represented clear violations of UN resolutions banning North Korea from any use of ballistic missile technology.
South Korea’s presidential office said it would hold a national security meeting later on Wednesday to discuss the North’s latest missile launches.
The Musudan has an estimated range of anywhere between 2,500 and 4,000 kilometres.
Wednesday’s effort came with military tensions still running high following Pyongyang’s fourth nuclear test in January and a long-range rocket launch a month later that saw the UN Security Council impose its toughest sanctions to date on the North.
The lower range covers the whole of South Korea and Japan, while the upper range would include US military bases on Guam.
First unveiled as an indigenous missile at a military parade in Pyongyang in October 2010, the Musudan has never been successfully flight-tested.
PM congratulates Nepali national cricket team
KATHMANDU— Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has congratulated Nepali national cricket team for being able to clinch the International T20 series.
PM Oli in a tweet extended best wishes and congratulations saying he was very happy to know Nepal’s win over the UAE by 14 runs in the third match of the series.
Winning T20 series is another landmark success for Nepali cricket, he said, adding, “It is big achievement for Nepal’s cricket. I would like to heartily congratulate entire members of Nepali cricket squad”.