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    15-May-2017

N.Korea Says Sunday Missile Launch Was New Type of Rocket

 

AFP

 

North Korea's latest missile launch was a successful test of a new type of rocket, Pyongyang's state media reported Monday.
 
Sunday's launch was of a "newly-developed mid/long-range strategic ballistic rocket, Hwasong-12", the official KCNA news agency said, adding that leader Kim Jong-Un "personally oversaw the test-launch of the new type of rocket".
 
The isolated North is under multiple sets of United Nations sanctions over its nuclear and missile programmes, which have set alarm bells ringing around the region and in Washington.
 
The North says it needs atomic weapons to defend itself against the threat of invasion and is widely believed to be making progress in its quest to develop a missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to the continental United States -- something President Donald Trump has vowed "won't happen".
 
Tensions between the two reached new heights in recent weeks, with Washington saying military action was an option being considered and Pyongyang issuing threats of its own, sending fears of conflict spiralling. 
 
Trump later appeared to hold open the door to negotiations, saying he would be "honoured" to meet Kim and called him a "smart cookie".
 
Last week the South also elected a new president, Moon Jae-In, who backs engagement with the North to reduce tensions.
 
But the launch came only days after Moon was sworn in.
 
The test was intended to examine the "technical details and characteristics" of a new type of rocket "capable of carrying a powerful and big nuclear warhead", KCNA said.
 
It followed its preset flight path to reach an altitude of 2,111.5 kilometers and traveled 787 kilometers, coming down at the "precise location intended", it added.
 

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