Seoul, South Korea. In secret testing today North Korea fired a newly developed ballistic missile into its eastern waters Wednesday, US and South Korean officials said, expressing concerns the North might conduct nuclear or long-range rocket tests ahead of the first summit between President Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping this week.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had said after February’s launches that the missile, called “Pukguksong-2” in North Korea, provided additional nuclear attack capability against it’s enemies. Most of North Korea’s missiles use liquid propellant, which usually is added on the launch pad before the weapon is fired.
The CIA assessment indicated it was a KN-15 medium-range missile, whose first publicly known test in February was considered by many foreign experts as a potentially dangerous development. It uses solid fuel already loaded inside the missile, which would shorten launch preparation times, boost the weapon’s mobility and make it harder for its intended target to detect the signs of its launch.
The North Korean missile launched from land in the area of the eastern coastal city of Sinpo on Wednesday morning flew about 60 kilometers, according to a South Korean military statement. The missile launched in February flew about 500 kilometers. Today’s launch results are still being analyzed by outside experts for threat assesment purposes