North Korea test-fires missiles in defiance of UN sanctions

North Korea test-fires missiles in defiance of UN sanctions


North Korea has test-fired two mid-range ballistic missiles within hours of each other in defiance of UN sanctions, says South Korea.Military officials in the South said both were powerful Musudan missiles.The first launch failed while the success of the second was still being analysed. Both landed in the sea.North Korea is banned by UN resolutions from any use of ballistic missile technology because of its nuclear weapons programme.

Four other missiles tested in the last two months are reported to have either exploded mid-air or crashed.Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said if the latest test was confirmed to be of a ballistic missile, it “clearly cannot be tolerated”.Surrounding countries had detected preparations for a launch in the past few days and warned that it was about to happen.Japan had said it would shoot down the missile if it entered Japanese airspace. The Musudan is believed to have a range of about 3,000km (1,800 miles), enough for it to hit South Korea, Japan and the US territory of Guam in the Western Pacific.But North Korea is thought to have dozens of them but has never successfully tested one.The BBC’s Steve Evans in Seoul says failure of the first missile illustrates the technological difficulties North Korea faces as it develops a nuclear arsenal and the means to attack distant targets.Repeated testing also illustrates a determination to succeed, he adds.


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