North Korea Launches Ballistic Missile Test


North Korea fired off a ballistic missile into the East Sea from Banghyeon North Pyongan Province early Sunday, according to South Korean officials.

South Korea's military is analyzing exactly what type of missile it was but there's a strong possibility that it was a midrange Musudan type, according to officials.

North Korea has test fired a total of eight Musudans, but only one was successful last June.

South Korea's joint Chiefs of Staff said the missile flew about 310 miles. Estimates vary over how far this mobile intermediate-range ballistic missile could travel, but at its best the Musudan would be able to reach U.S. military bases in Guam.

Analysts in Seoul have been expecting some sort of military provocation ahead of late Kim Jong-il's birthday on February 16 and the largest ever joint military exercises between the U.S. and South Korea scheduled to begin in two weeks.

The launch today comes only two days after President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe strongly urged North Korea to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programs and not to take any further provocative actions.

A spokesman for U.S. Strategic Command said assessments were under way as to the type of missile and other details.

A White House official said the administration is aware of the reports and is "closely monitoring the situation."



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