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PUBLISHED: Feb 12, 2017 9:08am

North Korea missile launch seen as defiance against Trump

A modified Minuteman II missile -or "target vehicle"- leaves a vapor trail across the sky shortly after lift off from Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA, to be intercepted by a "kill vehicle" missile launched off of the Marshall Islands in the South Pacific 14 July 2001 . The interceptor test was part of the National Missile Defense program. AFP PHOTO/DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE / AFP / DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE


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SEOUL, 12 Feb 2017:

North Korea fired an unidentified projectile early today into the sea off the east coast of the Korean peninsula, the South Korean military said.

The object was launched from an area in North Korea’s western region, the South’s Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a short statement.

The ballistic missile flew about 500km, South Korea’s military said, calling it North Korea’s “show of force” against the hard-line stance of the administration of US president Donald Trump on Pyongyang.

“The flight distance was about 500km, and South Korea and the United States are conducting a close-up analysis on additional information.”

Earlier, the country’s Yonhap news agency reported in a short dispatch that the North had fired a ballistic missile.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said in his New Year speech that the country was close to test-launching an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and state media have said such a launch could come at any time.

That prompted a vow of an “overwhelming” response from US defense secretary James Mattis when he travelled to South Korea earlier this month.

North Korea has conducted two nuclear tests and a number of missile-related tests at an unprecedented rate since early last year and was seen by experts and officials to be making progress in its weapons capabilities.



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