N. Korea confirms missile test of intermediate range Hwasong-12
North Korea announced on Monday it had employed a Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile in its test a day earlier.
“The test-fire of Hwasong 12-type ground-to-ground intermediate and long-range ballistic missile was conducted under a plan of the Academy of Defense Science, the Second Economy Commission and other related institutions,” said the North‘s official Korean Central News Agency.
“The launch was to verify the overall accuracy of the weapon system. It confirmed the accuracy, security and effectiveness of the operation of the Hwasong 12-type weapon system.“
In its seventh show of force this year, the recalcitrant regime launched the Hwasong 12-type missile, just days ahead of the Beijing Olympics and despite dialogue overtures by Seoul and Washington. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un did not oversee the firing.
The missile flew around 800 kilometers at a top altitude of 2 km, the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.
It is estimated to travel between 4,500-5,000 km if it’s launched at an angle of 30 to 45 degrees, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.
Given that the distance from Pyongyang to a key US military outpost Guam is about 3,400 km, the latest test-firing signals the regime’s capacity to develop weapon system to threaten US territories.
The Hwasong-12 IRBM was first shown during North Korea’s military parade in April 2017. While South Korea’s military classifies ballistic missiles with a range of 3,000 to 5,500 km as intermediate-range missiles, North Korea expresses them as intermediate and long-range ballistic missile.
By Choi Jae-hee