North Korea Tests 2 Mid-Range Missiles, Officials Say

North Korea Tests 2 Mid-Range Missiles, Officials Say

Foster Klug, Hyung-jin Kim / AP
June 22, 2016

(SEOUL, South Korea) — North Korea on Wednesday apparently fired two powerful new Musudan mid-range missiles, U.S. and South Korean military officials said, but at least one of the launches failed, its fifth such reported flop since April.

Despite the repeated failures, the North’s persistence in testing the Musudan worries Washington and its allies, Tokyo and Seoul, because the missile’s potential 3,500-kilometer (2,180-mile) range puts much of Asia and the Pacific, including U.S. military bases there, within its striking range.

Each new test also presumably provides valuable insights to North Korean scientists and military officials as they push toward their goal of a nuclear and missile program that can threaten the U.S. mainland. Pyongyang earlier this year conducted a nuclear test and launched a long-range rocket that outsiders say was a cover for a test of banned missile technology.

A statement from South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said a suspected first Musudan launch failed but gave few other details on the early-morning firing from near the North’s east coast city of Wonsan. Later Wednesday, the JCS said the North fired another suspected Musudan, but it wasn’t immediately clear if it succeeded.

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