North Korea says it has tested new anti-ship missile

North Korea says it has tested new anti-ship missile

The projectiles, launched near the eastern port city of Wonsan, were believed to be surface-to-ship cruise missiles, South Korea's joint chiefs was quoted as saying by CNN Thursday.

North Korea fired off what appeared to be four anti-ship missiles into the sea between the Korean Peninsula and Japan Wednesday, according to local media, days after US and South Korean ships concluded joint military exercises there.

It also touted the enhanced technology of the test launch of the new cruise missiles.

After the successful test of the Hwasong-12 IRBM, possibly the technological predecessor to, if not a stage of, an eventual liquid-fueled North Korean ICBM, the South Korean defense minister declared that the North's missile program is progressing much faster than initially expected.

According to USA Today, the launch marked the fourth new missile system introduced and successfully tested this year alone.

Cruise missile tests do not contravene United Nations regulations, Korea Defence Network analyst Lee Il-Woo told AFP, adding they were "much slower than ballistic missiles and can be shot down by anti-aircraft guns".

Roh Jae-cheon, spokesman of Seoul's JCS, said North Korea with the latest launch would have meant to show off its widening arrange of missiles and also its "precision strike capabilities" on ships in response to the joint drills.

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This put China in line with new United Nations sanctions on Pyongyang after its nuclear test and rocket launch previous year.

The UN Security Council last Friday unanimously adopted a US-drafted resolution imposing new targeted sanctions on a handful of North Korean officials and entities, in response to the recent tests.

Seoul said it would delay the installation of remaining components of the THAAD anti-missile system until it completes an assessment of the system's environmental impact.

The North says it needs nuclear weapons to forestall the threat of a U.S. attack. The canisters appeared similar to North Korea's ship-based launchers for the KN-01. The official added that the South Korean government had assured the USA that it would not revert from its previous commitments regarding the missile defense system, and that the United States had given South Korea the same assurances. "It will pose a considerable threat to US and South Korean navies", he told AFP.

Moon has sought to expand cross-border civilian exchanges as a way to improve ties, but North Korea on Monday rejected a Seoul civic group's offer to provide anti-malaria supplies to protest South Korea's support of fresh United Nations sanctions adopted last week.

The North Korean drones recovered in South Korea were probably procured through front companies in China, with parts manufactured in China, the Czech Republic, Japan and the United States, it added. In 2013, state media said leader Kim had watched a drone attack drill on a simulated South Korean target.

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