North Korea Missile Tests Didn’t Fail, US Military Says In Revised Report
North Korea successfully launched three short-range ballistic missiles on Saturday, despite initial intelligence reports suggesting failure, according to U.S. military.
South Korea’s Army Headquarters released an official statement saying the missiles were launched from North Korea’s eastern coast and travelled around 155 miles. No additional information was released.
Initial US intelligence reports suggested all three launches were a failure, with two missiles failing in flight and the third one exploding seconds after leaving the ground.
The U.S. Pacific Command released a second evaluation of the North Korean missile exercises and stated that all three missiles launches were successful.
Commander David Benham said the missiles did not pose any threat to U.S. territory or its military installments in Guam. A few weeks ago, North Korea caused a tense diplomatic situation with the U.S. by threatening to launch its missiles towards the U.S. territory of Guam.
The presidential cabinet of South Korea held an emergency security meeting and discussed North Korea’s missiles launch which comes shortly after July’s launch of two intercontinental ballistic missiles that experts estimated could hit the U.S. continent when improved.
The White House issued a short statement on the latest events, saying President Trump is informed and is “carefully monitoring the situation.”
Military analysts believe North Korea’s launch was a quick response to South Korea’s recent annual military exercises which started less than a week ago. The North claims South Korea’s joint military exercise with the U.S. is just a preparation for war.
Dictator Kim Jon Un allegedly observed a North Korean military exercise centered around a potential island invasion scenario on South Korean territory, and advised his troops “to think of no mercy when wiping out the enemy soldiers.”
This conflict between the North and the South is not all diplomacy and military exercises. The islands near the border have seen a few short armed conflicts with the most recent one in 2010 when a North Korean artillery barrage killed four South Koreans, two of which were civilians.
As a response to North’s increased military activities, South Korea has taken decisive action to expand its own nuclear arsenal, as well as to mobilize more military personnel near the border with North Korea. In addition, South Korea has moved to strengthen their U.S. built anti-missile defense line with additional launchers.
South Korea has developed and tested missiles of its own, one of which is Hyunmoo-2, a ballistic missile with a range of 500 miles. Even though this missile is still in its testing phase, the government of South Korea considers it a key element in their pre-emptive defense program. Such investments in military defense are absolutely essential for the South to keep pace with the growing national security threat from their northern neighbor.