North Korea carries out 3rd missile test in just over a week

North Korea carries out 3rd missile test in just over a week

North Korea launched what appeared to be short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs), Friday, in its third test in just over a week.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said two unidentified projectiles were launched ― one each at 2:59 a.m. and 3:23 a.m. ― from the Yonghung area in South Hamgyong Province into the East Sea.

The projectiles had a lower than usual altitude at 25 kilometers, and travelled 220 kilometers at a maximum speed of Mach 6.9.

The JCS did not specify whether the projectiles were SRBMs; but some officers said their flight characteristics were similar to that of two launched July 31.

Citing the South Korean and U.S. military intelligence, Cheong Wa Dae said the projectiles were likely newly developed SRBMs the North has been testing in recent weeks.

The presidential office said further analysis was needed before finalizing their type.

The Ministry of Unification said it found Friday's launches "deeply regrettable" and that they could affect efforts for peace on the Korean Peninsula.

On July 25, Pyongyang fired two SRBMs which travelled about 690km.

North Korea also launched two other projectiles Wednesday in what it described as the testing of a new multiple rocket launch system.

They flew about 250 kilometers.

Intelligence sources see North Korea's return to missile testing after a hiatus since late 2017 as a protest against planned U.S.-South Korea military exercises beginning Aug. 5.

The sources also see the tests as brinkmanship tactics aimed at dialing up the pressure on Seoul and Washington over stalled nuclear negotiations.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump called Pyongyang's missile launches "very standard" and "short range," and said that he was not concerned, Thursday.

"I think it's very much under control," Trump said.

Regarding whether he would still continue denuclearization talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Trump said, "Oh, sure, because these are short-range missiles."

"We never discussed that. We discussed nuclear. What we talked about is nuclear," he added.

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