North Korea has conducted back-to-back tests of two medium-range mobile launched ballistic missiles Musadan on Wednesday.
The defence ministry of South Korea estimated the intensity of the tests and said that North Korea has achieved a significant increase in flight distance compared to its previous launches.
According to reports, tests were believed to be of intermediate-range mobile based Musadan missile system. It has an estimated range of 2,500 to 4,000 kilometers, its lower range covers the whole of South Korea and Japan, while the upper range would include US military bases in Guam.
Reacting to the reports of tests, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo said that such tests “cannot be tolerated”.
The United States too came out strongly against the test and condemned the launch and said that it is a clear violation of UN resolutions banning North Korea from using any use of ballistic missile technology.
“We intend to raise our concerns at the UN to bolster international resolve in holding (North Korea) accountable for these provocative actions,” said US state department spokesman John Kirby.
The South Korean defence ministry said that around 6:00 am first missile was tested which reported to have failed after flying 90 miles over the East Sea of Japan. Second one Musudan fired from the same east coast location two hours later had flown 400 kilometres.
“South Korea and the United States are conducting further analysis,” said a statement.
A successful test marks a step forward for a weapons programme that aspires to develop nuclear strike capability against the US. North Korea had previously carried out four failed tests.
A Pentagon statement said the US military had tracked both missiles and determined they “did not pose a threat to North America”.
In recent months, North Korea has claimed a series of technical breakthroughs in developing an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of target ting United States.