North Korea claims new cruise missile can crush US, South Korean warships

Britain’s United Nations ambassador Matthew Rycroft condemned North Korea’s “latest provocations” and said “we look forward to working with our council colleagues about the best way to respond to them”. The same year, South Korea said that it had found three alleged North Korean drones in border towns.

The US has stepped up its muscle-flexing in the region, with a US nuclear submarine, the 6,900-ton USS Cheyenne, whose home port is Pearl Harbor, also arriving in the South Korean port of Busan Tuesday.

The move could mean substantial delays in a full deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in South Korea, as the review may take well over a year, according to a senior official at the presidential Blue House.

Kim Dong-yub, a North Korea expert at Seoul’s Institute for Far Eastern Studies, said the projectiles, which showed longer range than North Korea’s previously known KN-01 anti-ship cruise missiles that can travel up to 160 kilometers (99 miles), were likely from a new cruise missile system North Korea displayed during a massive April 15 military parade.

Newly tested missiles could be seen as “defensive in nature” – they are created to thwart enemy warship.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – North Korea tested a new type of cruise missile that could strike USA and South Korean warships “at will” if the country was attacked, its state media said Friday, a day after Seoul detected four missiles being launched from a eastern coastal town. “It will pose a considerable threat to US and South Korean navies”, he said.

North Korea launched a volley of surface-to-ship cruise missiles off its east coast Thursday, Seoul’s defence ministry said, Pyongyang’s fifth test in less than a month in defiance of global pressure to rein in its weapons program.

North Korea owns around 300 unmanned aerial vehicles of different types including reconnaissance, target and combat drones, the United Nations said in a report past year.

North Korea fired four anti-ship cruise missiles, according to a Pentagon official who spoke to CNN.

During his successful election campaign, President Moon Jae-in had pledged to review the previous South Korean government’s decision to deploy THAAD, saying that the deployment was rushed without assessing its environmental impact or seeking parliamentary approval.

However, the European Union on Thursday broadened its sanctions against North Korea over its work on nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

The launch comes one day after Moon’s government suspended the deployment of a controversial U.S. missile defense system which had strained relations with China and angered North Korea.

It has said it is working to develop a nuclear-tipped ICBM capable of reaching the USA mainland, presenting Trump with perhaps his most pressing security threat.

Despite its unusually aggressive streak of testing, North Korea still appears mindful not to cross a red line with Washington.

The isolated country, which has conducted dozens of missile tests and tested two nuclear bombs since the beginning of 2016 in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions, says the programme is necessary to counter USA aggression.

(Stand-up) “North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats have become imminent”.