DPRK fires medium-range ballistic missile into east waters

SEOUL — The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Friday fired a medium-range ballistic missile into east waters, Yonhap news agency reported.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) was quoted as saying that the missile was launched around 5:55 a.m. local time (2055 Thursday GMT) from the western area of Sukcheon.

The missile, fired from a mobile launcher, flew about 800 km before falling off the DPRK’s east coast. In consideration of the flying distance, it was believed to have been a Rodong ballistic missile.

It was the first time in about two years since March 26, 2014 that Pyongyang fired the Rodong missile, which can target the entire South Korean territory and major cities in Japan as it has a maximum range of about 1,300 km.

The missile launch came in an apparent show of force and anger at the ongoing joint military exercises between South Korea and the United States and the tougher-than-ever sanctions on the DPRK.

Pyongyang fired off two short-range ballistic missiles, estimated to have been Scud missiles, on March 10, three days after the joint US-South Korea annual war games kicked off.

The Key Resolve command post exercise is set to end on Friday, but the Foal Eagle field training exercise is scheduled to last until April 30. PNA/Xinhua/northboundasia.com