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

Video Protests Continue in Ferguson, Spread to Other US Cities

Missouri officials say deployment of more than 2,000 National Guard soldiers helps curb second night of rampant arson and looting in Midwestern town More

Video Ebola, Crackdown on Illegals Hit Business in Guangzhou

Chinese city has largest community of Africans in Asia More

Video Legendary Lebanese Actress, Singer Sabah Dies at 87

Music and film diva, affectionately called 'Sabbouha' by millions of her fans, performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, Royal Albert Hall in London, Olympia in Paris, Sydney Opera House in Sydney 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.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid