North Korea Conducted Missile Test: South Korea

Posted January 13th, 2012 at 2:35 am (UTC-5)
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South Korean officials said Friday that North Korea's military test fired three short-range missiles into its eastern waters earlier this week.

A South Korean Defense Ministry spokesperson said Seoul was aware of Wednesday's missile launch, which was originally reported in Japan's Sankei Shimbun newspaper.

The report said the missiles were believed to be KN-01 ground-to-ground missiles with a range of 120 kilometers.

Analysts say the missile test was likely a continuation of routine tests to improve the range and accuracy of the North's short-range missile arsenal, and probably not meant to send a strong message to its neighbors.

The secretive communist state conducted a similar missile test on December 19, the same day it announced the death of its longtime leader Kim Jong Il. But officials said the test was probably pre-planned and not related to the death of Mr. Kim.

Observers have speculated that Mr. Kim's son and successor, Kim Jong Un, may try to prove his military capabilities and rally support by conducting missile tests or engaging in other provocative military behavior.