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North Korea carries out threat, fires ballistic missile into sea

Amid heightened tensions on the Korean peninsula, North Korean government led by defiant Kim Jong-un fired two medium-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea, US and South Korean officials have said.

According to South Korea’s military, the first missile was launched from Sukchon in the country’s southwest at 5:55am on Friday (20:55 GMT on Thursday) and flew 800km before crashing off into the East Sea, also known as Sea of Japan.

The second, fired about 20 minutes later, disappeared off radar early into its flight.

Read also: Defiant North Korea threatens more missile launch

Reports say both missiles are believed to be medium-range Rodong missiles fired from road-mobile launch vehicles.

The Rodong missile has an estimated maximum range of around 1,300km.

If confirmed, the launch would mark North Korea’s first test of a medium-range missile, capable of reaching Japan, since 2014.

In the words of Jeff Kingston, a professor of Asian Studies at Temple University in Tokyo, Japan, the test firing was “clearly” a “defiant gesture by Pyongyang.

“[They] say, ‘well we are not going to back down and we are going to continue with our quest to become a nuclear weapons power,'” Kingston told Al Jazeera.

“What we’ve discovered over the last 20 years is that there’s not really any combination of sticks and carrots that seems to deter them from that quest, so it looks like we’re still at an impasse and it’s really hard to see a bright road ahead.”

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Ripples Nigeria

We are an online newspaper, very passionate about Nigerian politics, business and their leaders. We dig deeper, without borders and without fears.
www.ripplesnigeria.com

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