US assesses North Korea has launched at least one short range projectile

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The South Korean military told CNN that North Korea fired two unidentified projectiles from the Wonson area towards the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan, on Thursday morning — Wednesday afternoon in the US — and that the flight distance was approximately 430 kilometers.The two unidentified projectiles were launched at 5:34 am Thursday local time (4:34 pm ET Wednesday) and 5:57 am local time (4:57 pm ET Wednesday), according to the South Korean military. “Our military, in preparation for additional launches, is maintaining (its) readiness posture by monitoring related movements,” an official in the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff office told CNN.”The US and South Korea are in the process of analyzing the details in relation to the launches,” the JCS said.The US believes North Korea has launched at least one short range projectile, according to an initial assessment described by a US defense official. The official added that the launch appears to resemble the May 2019 firing of two short-range missiles, which traveled approximately 260 miles.The launch comes one day after US national security adviser John Bolton met with senior South Korean officials in Seoul where they discussed bilateral issues including denuclearization on the Korean peninsula.Vipin Narang, an associate professor of political science at MIT, said that based on the US official’s description, the projective was likely a solid-fuel ballistic missile dubbed the Kimskander. North Korea conducted a similar launch in May, its first since 2017, which served as a clear warning of leader Kim Jong Un’s frustration at the state of talks with the US, which had been deadlocked since President Donald Trump walked out of their Vietnam summit early in February.A satellite image obtained by CNN at the time captured the missile’s smoke trail. Wednesday’s launch was likely North Korea’s response to the July 20 announcement that the US and South Korea will conduct joint military exercises as planned next month, in spite of Pyongyang’s argument that doing so would breach the agreement President Donald Trump made with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, according to Narang. “No more provocative than before,” he told CNN, referring to the May launch, “but still tit for tat.” This story is breaking and will be updated.



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