Published: Wed, May 24, 2017
Medicine | By Megan Pierce

Seoul says NKorean object that drew fire was likely balloon


North Korea fired a solid-fuel ballistic missile Sunday that can be harder for outsiders to detect before launch and later said the test was hailed as ideal by leader Kim Jong Un.

Pyongyang successfully tested a Pukguksong-2 (KN-15) medium-range ballistic missile Sunday.

North Korea's state-run television KRT said this image of the Earth was captured from a camera mounted on a ballistic missile fired on Sunday.

South Korea fired warning shots today at a flying object that entered the country's airspace from North Korea across the Demilitarized Zone, Seoul's military said.

The missile traveled 560 kilometres towards the sea of Japan; Japanese news agencies say it likely fell into the water.

"In March and April 2014, small-sized drones believed to be from North Korea were found" in Paju, an island near the western sea border and the city of Samcheok, according to a Defence Ministry White Paper released a year ago.

The test came one week after Pyonyang successfully tested another type of missile that it boasted was capable of reaching the US armed with a nuclear warhead. The ongoing testing is disappointing.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that the country's military "is closely monitoring the North Korean military for any further provocation and maintaining readiness to respond".

Its state media, meanwhile, have stepped up their calls for even more missile launches because of what the government says is an increasingly hostile policy from President Trump. He vowed to bring up the issue at this week's G-7 summit in Italy. If true, that development would substantially increase the threat posed by North Korea's missile force-the Pukguksong-2 can be deployed on tracked mobile launchers, and it uses a "cold-launch" system that requires much less preparation time, which provides much less of an opportunity for the USA and allies to detect an impending attack. The closed discussion will take place Tuesday. The diplomats spoke on condition of anonymity because the meeting has not been officially announced.

North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile, the latest in a series of launches which have sparked global condemnation and threats of tougher United Nations sanctions.

That test came a week after North Korea tested what it said was a new type of rocket capable of carrying a large nuclear warhead.

Experts have indicated that five of these photos, that appeared on page 3 of the daily, seem to have been taken when the missile was re-entering the lower atmosphere.

The North Korean leader also described Pukguksong-2 as a "successful strategic weapon", with a "very accurate" hit rate.

North Korea tested another intermediate-range ballistic missile on Sunday, May 21.

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