News / Asia

North Korea Launches Mid-Range Missiles

North Korea missiles ranges
North Korea missiles ranges
VOA News
North Korea has fired two medium-range missiles into the sea off its east coast, a move Seoul and Washington immediately slammed as a provocation.

South Korea says the suspected Rodong ballistic missiles fired early Wednesday flew about 650 kilometers before landing in the sea between Korea and Japan.

That represents an escalation for Pyongyang, which has test-fired a series of short-range Scud missiles in recent weeks.

Seoul's Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok called the move a "serious provocation" and noted it was meant to a send a political message.

"North Korea's missile launch this time is a clear violation against United Nations Security Council resolutions," said Kim. "Also, it is a serious provocation against South Korea and the international society. This is in opposition to declarations in favor of North Korea's denuclearization during the Korea-China summit meeting and the Korea-U.S.-Japan summit meeting at the Nuclear Security Summit [in the Netherlands], and in [opposition to] the annual Korea-U.S. joint military drill. It is also showing its capability of firing ballistic missiles."

The U.S. State Department called the launches a "troubling and provocative escalation" and a "clear violation" of U.N. Security Council resolutions against North Korea's ballistic missile program.

It said the North provided no warning beforehand, adding to fears about the safety of commercial airliners and ships passing through the area.

Earlier this month, a North Korean rocket, fired without warning, crossed the trajectory of a Chinese airliner with 200 people on board.

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga also expressed concern about the risk posed by the launches.

"We have lodged complaints against North Korea, as this was an extremely problematic action considering the safety of the navigation of flights and ships. It also violates the U.N. Security Council resolution and the Japan-North Korea Pyongyang Declaration," said Suga.

The launch came as leaders of the United States, Japan and South Korea met in the Netherlands, with North Korea's nuclear ambitions high on the agenda of their talks.

Before the meeting started Tuesday, U.S. President Barack Obama said deepening coordination among Washington, Tokyo and Seoul, including “military cooperation that includes joint exercises," is vital to dealing with North Korea.

Tufts University Korean Studies assistant professor Sung-Yong Lee tells VOA that he agrees the Wednesday launches were meant to send a political message.

"North Korea is very good at timing - rubbing it in, adding insult to injury. And this is a way for North Korea to remind the United States and Japan and South Korea that it is a political factor to be reckoned with - that it cannot be ignored," said Sung-Yong Lee.

The launches come after Pyongyang fired 16 short-range Scud rockets into its eastern waters early Sunday, following similar launches of 30 rockets Saturday.

Analysts say the launches are an expression of Pyongyang's anger at ongoing annual South Korean-U.S. military drills, which run until next month. The North routinely criticizes the drills, saying they are rehearsals for an invasion.

North Korea has defended its short-range missile launches as routine tests. It has not commented on the latest medium-range launches.

You May Like

Myanmar Fighting Poses Dilemma for China

To gain some insight into conflict, VOA’s Steve Herman spoke with Min Zaw Oo, director of ceasefire negotiation and implementation at Myanmar Peace Center More

Australia Concerned Over Islamic State 'Brides'

Canberra believes there are between 30 and 40 Australian women who have taken part in terror attacks or are supporting the Islamic State terror network More

Recreational Marijuana Use Now Legal in Washington, DC

Law allows adults 21 and over to privately possess and smoke 0.05 kilogram of pot, and to grow small amounts of the plant More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mark from: Virginia
March 26, 2014 1:13 PM
North Korea is a sleeping snake, very adept at lying in wait for extended periods of time before making a move to strike. The whole peninsula is a powder keg ready to blow... it just needs the right match to strike the fuse. Remember, the whole conflict that raged there 64 years ago is not yet concluded... just a very long cease-fire that has existed for 61 years. I was a member of the Air Force in the 1980s, stationed at Kunsan AB in 1984/5, and can remember the tensions between North and South during that time, especially at this time of year when joint military drills were conducted. It is an area practicing for a war that never officially ended.

The current disagreements and problems between Russia and the Ukraine is a flash, quickly ignited, quickly over when compared to the smoldering fire that is the two Koreas. One of these days, it will not be a 'practice' launch of a missile from the North, it may be the real thing. The third generation Kim running the show in Pyongyang does not have his daddy's or his granddaddy's sense or wisdom... its only a matter of time before something unavoidable happens and then the crap will hit the rotary oscillator once again...

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More