Entries in Missile (17)


North Korea Launches Three Short-Range Guided Missiles

Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images(SEOUL, South Korea) -- The South Korean Defense Ministry says that North Korea fired three short-range guided missiles into waters off its east coast on Saturday, raising concerns about the potential for more military provocation in the region.

Two KN-02 missiles were fired in the morning, followed by another in the afternoon, spokesman Min-seok Kim said.

Unlike the mid-range Musudan missiles which are believed to be capable of traveling more than 1,800 miles, within reach of Japan and South Korea, the missiles launched Saturday only have a range of 75 miles.

Kyodo News, citing an unnamed Japanese official, said the missiles never reached Japanese waters.

North Korea routinely tests short-range missiles, but the launches Saturday came amid signs that diplomacy may finally be cooling tempers on the Korean Peninsula after weeks of warlike threats from Pyongyang.

This past week, Glyn Davies, the State Department's senior envoy on North Korea, traveled to Beijing, South Korea, and Japan, to discuss all aspects of the North Korea issue. That trip was preceded by a surprise visit to Pyongyang by one of Japan's most experienced diplomats on North Korea, Isao Iijima.

During his four day trip, Iijima, an adviser to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, met with senior officials, including North Korea's No. 2 leader Kim Yong Nam.

Abe has largely remained mum about the secret visit, aimed at restarting talks to bring home Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea in the 1970s and 80s, a key hurdle in normalizing bilateral ties.

Tensions on the Korean peninsula escalated to its worst in decades earlier this year, after North Korea conducted its third nuclear test in February.

Angered by UN sanctions, and joint US-South Korean military drills, Pyongyang threatened nuclear strikes on Seoul and Washington, and unilaterally pulled out of the 60-year-old war armistice that ended the Korean War.

In April, North Korea suspended operations at the jointly run Kaesong Industrial Complex, pulling out 53,000 workers.

US officials said North Korea withdrew two of their Musudan missiles earlier this month, but Pyongyang renewed threats of a nuclear war last week, following the arrival of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz.

The ship was brought in to the southern port city of Busan for joint US-South Korea naval drills.

North Korea's state TV called the move an "extremely reckless" provocation, saying "The risk of a nuclear war in the peninsula has risen further due to the madcap nuclear war practice by the US and the South's enemy force."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


North Korea Launches Long-Range Rocket

PEDRO UGARTE/AFP/Getty Images(SEOUL, South Korea) -- North Korea appears to have carried out the successful launch of a long-range rocket on Wednesday, United States officials confirm.

The move comes as a surprise to the international community, which has consistently called on North Korea to abandon its efforts.

Less than 24 hours earlier, the North Koreans had indicated they were grappling with "technical uncertainties" that forced them to extend the launch window to Dec. 29.

The secretive regime insists its efforts are part of a peaceful space program intended to place a satellite into orbit.  But the U.S. and key Asian allies believe it is a thinly disguised attempt to test an intercontinental ballistic missile aimed at furthering development of the technology needed to mount a nuclear warhead on a long-range rocket that could one day reach the U.S.

National Security Council spokesman Tom Vietor called the launch a "highly provocative act that threatens regional security."

"The action is yet another example of North Korea's pattern of irresponsible behavior," read the National Security Council statement. "The United States remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations and is fully committed to the security of allies in the region."

In recent weeks even China, North Korean's only remaining ally, sent a high level delegation into Pyongyang to convey a message of constraint.  On Wednesday, China expressed "regret" over the incident.

North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) acknowledged the launch initiated at 9:49 a.m. local time and followed its intended trajectory, traveling south between Korea and Japan.

"At no time was the missile or the resultant debris a threat to North America," said NORAD.

Japan's emergency alert system -- M-NET -- recorded the rocket's flight path directly over Okinawa just after 10:00 a.m.  Officials say they have located three points of debris: One in South Korea's Yellow Sea, a second location further down the country's west coast and the third point 180 miles north of the Philippines.

A South Korean military official confirmed that one of their three warships, equipped with the Aegis radar system, detected the launch.  The first stage fell just below Byeonsanbando, southwest of the Korean peninsula, exactly where it was supposed to, according to the official.

The type of rocket is believed to be the Taepodong 2 missile.  The North Koreans refer to it as the Unha-3, which in Korean translates as "Galaxy-3."  The same type of missile had been previously tested three times -- in 2006, 2009 and 2012.  Each time, the rocket failed soon after launch.

The rocket is believed to have the capacity to travel a minimum of 3,400 miles.  That puts it well within striking range of the western U.S.

The U.S. had mobilized four warships in the Asia-Pacific region to monitor the launch.  The guided missile destroyers the USS John S. McCain, the USS Benfold and the USS Fitzgerald joined the guided missile cruiser the USS Shiloh to "reassure allies in the region" according to officials.

South Korea's president Lee Myung-bak called an emergency security meeting in response.  The timing is particularly sensitive for this country which is still officially at war with North Korea.

In just one week, South Korea holds key elections and will choose a new president.  North Korea's successful launch could potentially sway voters favoring either a harsher line or a return to the "Sunshine Policy" of past administrations.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


North Korea Readying for Another Rocket Launch?

PEDRO UGARTE/AFP/Getty Images (file photo)(TOKYO) -- North Korea could be weeks away from its fifth satellite launch.  That's according to a new image captured by American satellite operator Digital Globe.

The photo at North Korea's missile launch site shows increased activity, including new tents, trucks and fuel oxidizer tanks.

Digital Globe says all the activity is similar to what they saw leading up to Pyongyang's failed launch in April of this year.

Analysts say North Korea could be ready to test yet another long-range missile within three weeks.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Iranian President Unveils Upgraded Surface-to-Surface Missile

ABC/Donna Svennevik(TEHRAN, Iran) -- Claiming that his country has to defend itself from the threat of a military strike, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced a new version of a short range surface-to-surface ballistic missile on Tuesday.

Ahmadinejad said the updated Fateh-110 or Conqueror was not intended in an aggressive context.

He declared, "We do not seek progress in the defense industry for conquest.  We want it to defend ourselves, our territory, our existence.  Secondly, we want it for defending human dignity."

The unveiling of the new Fateh-110 and other defense projects comes as talk has been heating up recently about Israel possibly launching a preemptive strike to knock out Iran's rogue nuclear facilities.

According to Iranian scientists, the upgrade means quicker launching, a longer life and use of the missile in poor weather conditions.

Iran isn't believed to have the technology yet to deploy a nuclear bomb but it does have an arsenal of short and medium-range missiles capable of reaching Israel and U.S. ships stationed in the Persian Gulf.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Pakistan Tests Nuclear Capable Missile with 700 Km Range

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(ISLAMABAD) -- In an effort to stay ahead in the nuclear arms race against its arch rival India, Pakistan tested a cruise missile on Tuesday, less than one week after it conducted a similar launch, according the country's military.

In a statement, Pakistan's military said it successfully launched the Hatf-VII (Babur) cruise missile from a "state of the art multi tube Missile Launch Vehicle."  The missile has a range of 700 kilometers and is capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear warheads.

"Babur Cruise Missile is a low flying, terrain hugging missile with high maneuverability, pin point accuracy and radar avoidance features," the military said.

Futhermore, the missile "incorporates the most modern cruise missile technology of Terrain Contour Matching (TERCOM) and Digital Scene Matching and Area Co-relation (DSMAC), which enhances its precision and effectiveness manifolds," according to the military.

Tuesday's launch comes five days after Pakistan tested the nuclear capable Hatf-VIII (Ra’ad) cruise missile, which is capable of traveling upwards of 350 kilometers.

Pakistan and India have been regularly testing firing missiles to show their military superiority over each other.  In April, Pakistan tested an intermediate range ballistic missile just days after India conducted its own missile test.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Pakistan Launches Another Nuclear Capable Missile

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(ISLAMABAD) -- Pakistan tested yet another nuclear capable missile on Thursday, this time with a range of over 350 kilometers.

The latest launch comes a month after Pakistan tested an intermediate range ballistic missile just days after India conducted its own missile test.  The two countries have been competing with each other in testing missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads in an effort to get a heads up in the regional nuclear arms race.

In a statement Thursday, Pakistan's military said it "conducted a successful Flight Test of the indigenously developed Air Launched Cruise Missile, Hatf-VIII (Ra’ad) with a range of over 350 kilometers to achieve strategic standoff capability on land and at Sea."

"The state of the art Ra’ad Cruise Missile with Stealth Capabilities is a Low Altitude, Terrain Hugging Missile with high maneuverability, and can deliver nuclear and conventional warheads with pin point accuracy," the statement continued.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Pakistan Successfully Launches Nuclear Capable Missile

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(ISLAMABAD) -- Raising the stakes in the region's nuclear rivalry, Pakistan's military announced on Wednesday it has successfully launched a new missile.

The Hatf IV Shaheen-1A, an intermediate range ballistic missile, was launched into the sea Wednesday morning.  It's believed to have a range of more than 3,000 kilometers and "is capable of carrying nuclear and conventional warheads," according to Pakistan's military. 

The new missile is an upgrade from a previous version, which could only travel up to 2,000 kilometers.  The Shaheen-1A's longer range allows it to strike anywhere in India and well into China and the Far East.

Wednesday's launch comes days after India conducted its own missile test.  The two nuclear rivals have gone to war three times since they were granted independence in 1948.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


UN Security Council Condemns North Korea Rocket Launch

PEDRO UGARTE/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- North Korea's failed missile test has drawn new fire at the United Nations.

U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice, speaking for the UN Security Council, said North Korea's rocket launch, though a failure, "caused grave security concerns."

“The Security Council demands that the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) not proceed with any further launches using ballistic missile technology,” Rice said.

With the support of China, the Security Council issued a statement that "strongly condemns" North Korea and warns of the possibility of new sanctions.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


US Denies Role In North Korea’s Missile Failure

Dept of Defense(WASHINGTON) -- The Pentagon says the U.S. military played no role whatsoever in the failure of North Korea’s missile test Thursday.

“I can say categorically that the United States military did not play a role in the failure of this launch,” Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs George Little said.

Asked by reporters if there may have been any U.S. activities beyond the military that might have brought down the missile, Little said, “I am unaware of any U.S. role whatsoever in bringing down the missile.”  He added, “to my knowledge this is a North Korean failed missile launch.”

According to Little, “initial indications are that it certainly failed in stage two.  We need to look over time, and experts are studying this right now, is precisely what happened along the trajectory.  I don’t have that full picture to provide at this stage. ”

In the wake of the failed launch, the U.S. has chosen to refer to the rocket the North Koreans labeled the Unha 3 as a TaePoDong 2.

Little confirmed that “it was the U.S. government’s collective judgment that we could designate this a TaePoDong  2 missile.”  Does that mean the U.S. believes the failed launch was a military launch?  Little said, “We are calling this a provocative act and the TaePoDong 2 missile is something the North Koreans have obviously tried to launch in the past.”

Does the succession of failed military launches imply that the U.S. should reassess the threat posed by North Korea’s missile technology?

Little said the U.S. treats North Korean missile launches “very seriously” but American concerns go beyond their missile capabilities.  He added that the missile launches did not paint a complete picture about the range of North Korean capabilities, “so we have to be vigilant here and not reach conclusions too soon about where they might be headed.”

The U.S. wasn’t discounting future North Korean missile advances despite failures that show they have a “ways to go with their capabilities,” he said.

Little said he could not confirm that North Korea is planning to conduct a nuclear test, but “we certainly hope they don’t under take any additional provocative acts.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


North Korea Acknowledges Rocket Launch Failure

PEDRO UGARTE/AFP/Getty Images(PYONGYANG, North Korea) -- North Korea state media has acknowledged that the long-range test rocket that the country launched in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions and an agreement with the United States failed to enter orbit.

The 90-ton rocket launched at 6:39 p.m. EDT Thursday, but 81 seconds into the launch, the U.S. detected a substantially larger than expected flare and by 10 minutes after launch, the rocket was no longer on several radar screens, U.S. officials said.

The statement acknowledging the failure came Friday from North Korean state media after U.S. and South Korean officials reported the failure.

According to a statement from U.S. Northern Command and the U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), the missile was tracked on a southerly launch over the Yellow Sea.

"Initial indications are that the first stage of the missile fell into the sea 165 km west of Seoul, South Korea," the statement said.  "The remaining stages were assessed to have failed and no debris fell on land.  At no time were the missile or the resultant debris a threat."

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a statement that despite the failed launch, "North Korea's provocative action threatens regional security, violates international law and contravenes its own recent commitments."

He added "any missile activity by North Korea is of concern to the international community.  The United States remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations, and is fully committed to the security our allies in the region."

President Obama has been prepared to "engage constructively with North Korea," Carney said in the statement.  "However, he has also insisted that North Korea live up to its own commitments, adhere to its international obligations and deal peacefully with its neighbors."

Had the launch been successful, the rocket's third stage was expected to burn up in the atmosphere about 10 minutes after launch, with debris falling north of Australia.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio